Melania Trump has sparked an outrage on social media after allegations of her plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention surfaced.
Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Monday bore a striking resemblance to Obama’s address. The presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump introduced his wife, Melania, as the “next first lady of the United States” as the former model walked to the stage to give her first address, which was to be her introduction to voters.
However, despite the initial praise, Trump's speech, which focused on immigration and her love for her husband, was quickly overshadowed by the plagiarism controversy.
The following is the allegedly plagiarized portion of Melania Trump’s Monday address:
“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.”
This is Michelle Obama’s speech from Aug. 25, 2008:
“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 to 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 Trump campaign put out a statement as the scandal gained more attention but it barely addressed the allegations. “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,” Senior Communications Advisor Jason Miller said.
However, in an interview earlier in the day, Trump reportedly said that she went through the speech once on the plane to Cleveland and that’s all she needed because “I wrote it, with as little help as possible.”
Twitter, on the other hand, exploded with memes and jokes regarding this incident with #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes trending on the microblogging site within a couple of hours after the alleged plagiarism came to light. Tweets were published aplenty containing famous quotes but attributed to the former model.