For months, Donald Trump surrogates have come up with outlandish explanations to justify the presumptive GOP nominee’s wild statements, from defending his racist remarks about a federal judge to insisting that he never really proposed a ban on Muslims from entering the country.
So it was no surprise to see Trump backers twist themselves into knots defending Melania Trump’s speech last night at the Republican National Convention after parts were found to have been clearly plagiarized from a 2008 convention addressed delivered by Michelle Obama.
So that’s pretty blatant, right? pic.twitter.com/EPnHME7afV
— Mike Hearn (@mikehearn) July 19, 2016
1) What About The 93% That Wasn’t Plagiarized?
While Trump didn’t select New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as his running mate, Christie is still acting as a loyal surrogate, this time denying the obvious fact that a portion of Melania Trump’s speech was plagiarized.
Christie made the absurd claim that Melania Trump didn’t plagiarize her remarks since “93% of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 19, 2016
Christie later told CNN that he simply knows in his gut that she didn’t plagiarize part of her speech: “If we’re talking about 7% of a speech, that was really, universally considered to be a good performance by Melania. I know her. There’s no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech.”
2) It’s Hillary Clinton’s Fault!
In an interview with CNN, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort denied the “crazy” allegation that Melania Trump was “cribbing Michelle Obama’s speech,” arguing that it was just another “example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she will try to demean her and take her down.”
Manafort later held a press conference at which he said that the controversy proves that “when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy that person.”
Paul Manafort dismisses criticism of Melania speech, says it’s what happens when Clinton “is threatened by a female” https://t.co/yHDg5uiGzK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 19, 2016
3) ‘Fragments Of Words’
In an interview with CBS, Manafort said that Melania Trump only used “fragments of words” that were similar to Michelle Obama’s.
“We’re talking about words like compassion, love of family, respect,” he said. “These are not words that are unique words, that belong to the Obamas.”
Earlier today, campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson told The Hill: “This concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd.”
4) Who Cares — It Was A Great Speech!
Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody rose to Melania Trump’s defense while speaking today with “700 Club” host Pat Robertson.
Brody applauded her “great” speech and dismissed the “quote ‘plagiarism’ charges,” saying that “the long-term story here, Pat, is that the reality is that Melania Trump gave a very good speech last night. She was poised, smart, articulate on that stage on Monday night and what that means, Pat, going forward is that Melania Trump needs to get out on the stump.”
“Cleary, she is articulate, doing a very good job — and they need help among women voters and she can be a key part of that,” he added.
Robertson noted that Melania Trump was “absolutely gorgeous” and “Mr. Trump has a good eye for beauty.”
Starts 5:30 in:
5) It Was A Good Thing!
“If Melania’s speech is similar to Michelle Obama’s speech, that should make us all very happy because we should be saying, whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, we share the same values,” he told reporters after addressing a Florida GOP delegation breakfast at a hotel here 20 minutes outside of Cleveland, where the RNC is taking place.
“If we happen to share values, we should celebrate that, not try to make it into a controversy,” he added.
“I don’t think they were plagiarized. I think there are general principles that are very valuable to Americans, and of course to express those principles you’re going to use similar language,” Carson said.