Did Melania Trump Just Rip Off A Michelle Obama Speech?

Donald Trump may have nothing nice to say about Barack Obama, but Trump’s model wife appears to be an admirer of the first lady.

It didn’t take long after Melania Trump finished her address to the Republication National Convention in Cleveland before commentators picked up the remarkable similarities between a passage in her speech and one Michelle Obama delivered to the 2008 Democratic convention.

Recounting to a cheering crowd the lessons she had learned from her parents in her “small, beautiful” home country Slovenia, Melania Trump said:

“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 promises, that you treat people with respect.”

“They thought, and showed me, values and morals in their daily life that is a lesson 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.”

Melania Trump and Michelle Obama

Melania Trump and Michelle Obama

As L.A. journalist @JarrettHill quickly tweeted:

It appears Hill may be right.

According to a National Public Radio transcript of Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention speech in Denver, in which she told how she met the President, the first lady said:

“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.”

Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Alex Wong | Getty Images
Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

The New York Times later pointed out what it said was another similarity between the speech and the one delivered by Michelle Obama in 2008.

Referring to her parents, Trump’s wife said: “Their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflects to this day on me and for my love of family and America.” The Times said that line closely followed the first lady’s words about her own mother: “One of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.”

Melania Trump had earlier told Matt Lauer in an exclusive NBC News interview that she had largely written her own speech.

“I read once over it and that’s all,” she said. “Because I wrote it … with as little help as possible.”

As accusations of plagiarism gathered pace, Jason Miller, a senior communications advisor with the Trump campaign, released a statement that appeared to acknowledge that a “team of writers” included “fragments” of other peoples’ writing in Melania Trump’s speech.

“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,” Miller said.

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