Presidential Election 2016

Donald Trump Campaign Slams Claims Melania Plagiarized Convention Address

Melania Trump Speech Plagiarism Donald Defends Wife
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Jul. 19 2016, Updated 4:24 p.m. ET

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Donald Trump's campaign was swift to defend Melania Trump after she was accused of plagiarizing a 2008 Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention.

Melania appeared at the RNC Tuesday night and delivered a moving speech to roar up the crowd.

"From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values 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," Melania said.

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But her inspiring address was quickly dwarfed by accusations of plagiarism, with news outlets like CNN and Politico reporting that it appeared the former model and businesswoman had lifted parts of her speech from a 2008 DNC speech from Michelle Obama.

"... 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," Obama said at the time.

The billionaire's team immediately pounced on the accusations.

"To think that she would do something like that, knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night, is just really absurd," Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, told CNN .

"There's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech," he said. "These were common words and values. She cares about her family. To think that she'd be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy."

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Another quick defender of Melania was Trump's right-hand man, Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor also spoke with CNN and said he didn't see the similarities. "If we're talking about 7% of a speech, that was really, universally considered to be a good performance by Melania …" Christie said. "I know her. There's no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech."

Trump spokesperson Jason Miller released a statement on the presumptive GOP nominee's website, saying, "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. Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success."

Donald also praised his wife for her "incredible" speech on Twitter, writing, "It was truly an honor to introduce my wife, Melania. Her speech and demeanor were absolutely incredible. Very proud!"

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