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Trump Campaign Manager Denies Melania Trump’s Speech Lifted From Michelle Obama

Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort says “We’re moving on.”

But not before turning the entire plagiarism flap into something about Hillary Clinton. Somehow, this is all Hillary’s fault.

For a change.

From the AP:

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort insisted no mistakes had been made with the speech and said the issue was “totally blown out of proportion.”

“There were a few words on it, but they’re not words that were unique words,” he told The Associated Press. “Ninety-nine percent of that speech talked about her being an immigrant and love of country and love of family and everything else.”

Mrs. Trump’s star turn at the Republican National Convention Monday night captivated a GOP crowd that had rarely heard from the wife of Donald Trump. The passages in question focused on lessons that Trump’s wife says she learned from her parents and the relevance of their lessons in her experience as a mother.

Manafort told CNN Mrs. Trump was aware of “how her speech was going to be scrutinized” and said any notion that she picked up portions of Mrs. Obama’s convention talk was “just absurd.” He also tried to blame Hillary Clinton.

“I mean, this is, once again, an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down,” Manafort said. “It’s not going to work.”

For the record, I don’t think Melania Trump knowingly intended to lift parts of Michelle Obama’s speech from 2008. I believe that in researching ideas and concepts for her speech, she and her speechwriter found these passages appealing and put it into the speech as “place-holder” text, intending to go back and rewrite and “make it her own.”

That sort of thing happens all the time. I’m not giving it a pass. I think someone should own the mistake. But I don’t think anyone intended for Melania Trump to literally speak Michelle Obama’s words on that stage last night.