VIDEO: Trump Campaign Chairman Denies Melania Trump Plagiarism Allegations
Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort flatly denied allegations Melania Trump lifted last night’s convention speech from Michelle Obama’s in 2008, claiming such an act would be “absurd.”
“To say that she lifted any words from anybody is absurd,” Manafort told ABC News’ Tom Llamas. “Her speech last night was a very poignant presentation of her becoming an American citizen, falling in love with with a man that she wanted to talk about.”
Manafort also blamed Hillary Clinton for invoking criticism of Melania’s speech, claiming that the presumptive Democratic nominee was threatened by Trump’s wife because of her gender, echoing similar comments he had made on CNN’s “New Day.”
“We’ve noted that the Clinton camp was the first to get it out there in trying to say that there was something untoward about the speech that Melania Trump gave,” he told reporters today. “It’s just another example, as far as we are concerned that when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person.”
The attack on Clinton prompted a swift response from her campaign.
“Nice try, not true,” said Jennifer Palmierei, Hillary Clinton’s communications director.
— Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) July 19, 2016
Manafort also told Llamas that Melania was aware she was giving an extremely high-profile speech, and it would have made no sense for her to lift from Michelle Obama’s 2008 address.
“Melania Trump understood very well that her speech was going to be viewed by over 35 million Americans,” Manafort said.
Melania Trump’s speech quickly came under criticism when it was discovered that the parts about her upbringing and imparting values to the next generation bore remarkable similarities to Michelle Obama’s speech.
Melania Trump told NBC News’ Matt Lauer that she wrote the speech with “as little help as possible.” But the Trump campaign released a statement after allegations of plagiarism emerged. Unlike Manafort, there was no outright denial of the possibility she had borrowed some ideas.
“In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” the statement said.
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