Trump Campaign Responds To "Absurd" Melania Plagiarism Accusations

With the media closely following the latest Trump campaign snafu, the previously reported accusation that Melania Trump had plagiarized parts of Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech, many were curious to see how the Trump would respond. 

We got the first indication overnight, when in a statement released early Tuesday morning, Trump campaign senior communications adviser Jason Miller said “Melania's team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”

Then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said Melania Trump “hit it out of the park” Monday night with her address to the Republican National Convention, adding that the speech was not plagiarized in  any way. He explicitly denied the plagiarism accusations, saying that Melania Trump’s speech simply employed language that is frequently used.

Speaking on CNN’s “New Day,” Manafort said “there was no cribbing from Michelle Obama’s speech" adding that “these were common words and values, that she cares about her family and things like that. She was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”

Manafort added that the uproar over the speech is an example of how the country tries to “demean” women who criticize Hillary Clinton. “Certainly there’s no feeling on her part that she did it. What she did was use words that were common words. To think that she would do something like that, knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd.”

Manafort also predicted that no one will be fired over the uproar.  “I don’t think Donald Trump feels that there is anything to fire about,” he said on “CBS This Morning.”

Then moments ago, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus also jumped in and defended Melania Trump saying he'd "probably" fire the speechwriter if it were his decision. "I don't blame her," Priebus said of Melania Trump at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast with journalists in Cleveland on the second day of the Republican National Convention. "Some of these things are pretty common types of themes."

"I thought she did a great job last night," Priebus said. "I thought she had a great immigrant story" and "was very inspirational."

"The distraction gets you off message a little bit this morning, but I think we'll get back to action this afternoon," Priebus said.

The rare public speech by presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump's wife was intended to draw a more intimate portrait of the candidate, but instead drew charges that her remarks copied those in a 2008 Democratic convention speech by Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama's wife. The situation created a major distraction for the Trump campaign and the Republican convention machine that Priebus oversees.

"The distraction gets you off message a little bit this morning, but I think we'll get back to action this afternoon," Priebus said.

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Will this latest "distraction" change anything? Hardly: Trump supporters will simply ignore the "noise" and look forward to today's official nomination; meanwhile opponents will double down on their accusations that the entire Trump campaign is just one big scam, as the echo-chamber phenomenon continues to accelerate into November.