republican national convention

Melania Trump Plagiarized an Entire Paragraph From Michelle Obama’s 2008 Speech

2016 Republican National Convention - Day 1
Photo: Tasos Katopodis/2016 Tasos Katopodis

Melania Trump got relatively good marks for her speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, but we’re talking about Donald Trump here, so of course there’s a crazy twist. Several sentences of Trump’s speech, from the part where she’s ostensibly telling a personal story about her parents, appear to be lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.

Here’s the text from Melania Trump’s speech:

My parents impressed on me the value of that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. Show the values and morals in the daily life. That is the lesson that we continue to pass on to our son.

We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. [Cheering] Because we want our children in these nations to know that the only limit to your achievement is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

And here’s Obama:

And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

Journalist Jarrett Hill was first to notice the striking similarities:

Here’s a video that splices together the two speeches:

Earlier, CNN reported that “Melania has been working with a speechwriter for the last five to six weeks, honing her speech.”

But here’s Melania telling Matt Lauer that she only needed to read it over once, because she wrote the speech “with as little help as possible.”

Trump took to Twitter shortly after the news broke to compliment his wife’s speech:

But since his attempt to ignore the problem wasn’t working, soon the Trump camp began searching for someone to blame.

Around 2 a.m. the campaign released this statement, which admits that Melania had help from a team of writers who discussed her inspirations and “included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” whatever that means.

Whatever the explanation, everyone seems to be enjoying the latest example of the Trump campaign’s incompetency — especially because it means we don’t have to focus on all the scary stuff that happened earlier in the evening.

This post has been updated throughout.

Melania Plagiarized From Mobama’s 2008 Speech