Melania, 46, has been bombarded with accusations that she plagiarized Michelle Obama‘s 2008 Democratic National Convention address in her speech on Monday. Although husband Donald Trump‘s campaign has taken to finger-pointing (Donald and his team have blamed speechwriters and even Hillary Clinton for the incident), new reports suggests the alleged cribbing may have been the former model’s own doing.
Melania’s original address did not include the portion that bears striking similarities to Obama’s speech, according to NBC News. And documents and emails obtained by NBC reportedly indicate that the alterations originated within the Trump campaign.
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A source close to the campaign told NBC that Donald’s team hired veteran speechwriter Matthew Scully to write Melania’s speech, however, only a portion of his work was used when she delivered the address.
Along with Scully, Donald’s team enlisted the help of John McConnell to create Melania’s most high-profile speech, The New York Times reports. The men sent Melania a draft last month and never received feedback from her, per the Times.
Sources close to the Trump campaign also told the Times that Melania was not pleased with the draft and altered the speech, leaving only a portion of the original.
Melania enlisted the help of her friend Meredith McIver, who worked on some of Donald’s books, to write the speech and the two looked into previous speeches by candidates’ spouses, the Times reports, citing sources close to the campaign who asked to remain anonymous.
Shortly after Melania delivered the address during opening night of the GOP convention, critics began pointing out similarities between her speech and Obama’s eight years ago.
As the controversy erupted, Donald’s campaign issued a statement, saying that Melania’s “team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations.”
Donald’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort called claims that Trump plagiarized the speech “absurd.”
“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values,” he told CNN.
“I imagine there’s people who shouldn’t have done that or who should have cleaned it up better,” Trump said.