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Melania Trump Speech Used Same Passages as Michelle Obama's 2008 Address

Politics Dow Jones Newswires

Melania Trump's primetime speech Monday contained passages that were the same as parts of the convention speech that future First Lady Michelle Obama gave in 2008. 

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The night was largely spent bashing the current president's administration -- from foreign policy to domestic -- and calling for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to be put in jail. Mrs. Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump, gave one of the few speeches that talked about bringing the Republican Party together, while praising her husband. 

It was a speech praised by convention watchers on Twitter while it was happening, but shortly afterward, social media focused on the similarities. A look at Mrs. Obama's convention speech shows that parts of two paragraphs of Mrs. Trump's speech are the same, including parts when Mrs. Obama praised her husband and speaking of the values they were raised with -- and what they wanted to pass onto their children. Gawker quickly posted a mashup of the two speeches. 

Jason Miller, senior communications adviser to the Trump campaign sent a statement to reporters early Wednesday morning. The statement didn't address the accusations of plagiarism. 

"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," Mr. Miller said. "Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success." 

In an interview with NBC earlier in the day, Mrs. Trump told Matt Lauer that she read over the speech once on the plane to Cleveland and that's all she needed because "I wrote it, with as little help as possible." 

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Mr. Trump tweeted after his wife's speech, praising the performance, saying "It was truly an honor to introduce my wife, Melania. Her speech and demeanor were absolutely incredible. Very proud!" 

Below, the two speeches with emphasis added. 

Michelle Obama's 2008 speech: 

Like my family, they scrimped and saved so that he could have opportunities they never had themselves. 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's 2016 convention 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 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.