Tonight, Melania Trump went on national television at the Republican National Convention and gave a speech that looks to be partially plagiarized from one Michelle Obama gave at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
The speech was a rare foray into the public eye for the potential First Lady. Up until this point, she had been relatively quiet about her husband's political aspirations and the role that she's played in the crafting of his public image.
While Melania's words initially came across as surprisingly thoughtful, something about the speech rang eerily similar to journalist Jarrett Hill. He quickly discovered that an entire paragraph of the speech appeared blatantly lifted from a portion of Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
While parts of Trump's speech have clearly been edited somewhat, most of the verbiage and sentiment is the exact same as Obama's in a way that makes it difficult to deny that someone's guilty of plagiarism. It should be noted that Trump told Matt Lauer earlier today that she wrote the speech herself.
Compare the bolded parts of each speech below.
Michelle Obama's 2008 DNC Speech:
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.
Melania Trump's 2016 RNC Speech:
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. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life.
That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
Hours after the scandal broke, Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller released a statement to the press attempting to explain just how Melania Trump's speech came to be so similar to Michelle Obama's. The statement did little to clear the situation up, though a line about a "team of writers" contradicted her earlier assertion that she had written the speech alone.
"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," Miller said. "Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success."