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Charges of plagiarism erupt after Melania Trump's convention speech

Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention Monday night was hailed as a success by political pundits -- until journalists noticed striking similarities between her speech and the convention speech given by another wife, President Obama's, in 2008. After that, what was meant to be the triumphant introduction of a politically shy Melania Trump degenerated into accusations of plagiarism.

The similar wording between Michelle Obama's speech and Melania Trump's speech are glaring.

As noted clearly in this annotated text by the New York Times:

Ms. Trump, Monday night:

“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 lives. 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.

Mrs. Obama, in her 2008 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.

The Times outlined even more examples of similarities between the two women's speeches.

The similarity was first noted on Twitter by journalist Jarrett Hill:

Trump's campaign denies that Melania or her speech writers lifted content from Michelle Obama's convention speech. After the similarities were noted, the Trump campaign issued a statement that made no reference to the plagiarism accusation: "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."

CNN reports sources familiar with the campaign's handling of Melania Trump's speech identify Rick Gates as the person inside the campaign who oversaw the speech writing process for Melania Trump. However, Gates denies working on her speech.

CNN's report also referred to Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's comments to "New Day" in which he said the words used by Melania Trump and Michelle Obama are common words.
"There's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech. These were common words and values. She cares about her family," Manafort said. "To think that she'd be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy."

Watch the speeches below, then decide for yourself.

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