“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech. These were common words and values that she cares about her family and things like that,” Manafort said. “I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night, she knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy.”
"When you see that many words in a row match up 1 to 1, it eliminates possibility that this is a chance occurrence," said Dr. Richard Armstrong, professor at the University of Houston's Honors College.
Armstrong says academia takes plagiarism very seriously. At UH, students face serious consequences including failing an assignment, course or even suspension.
"I'm surprised heads aren't rolling," said Armstrong.
Armstrong says the fact key phrases were swapped out is further proof plagiarism took place.
"What they do is they'll take and modify it somewhat, and that will make them feel better, since they haven't just lifted it," said Armstrong.
Armstrong doesn't expect Trump to apologize.
"Seems to be a part of the basic armor of the Trump campaign," said Armstrong. "It's what they do."
Trump’s communications adviser Jason Miller sent out a statement continuing the denial.
"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,” Jasom Miller, Trump’s communications adviser, said in a statement. “Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”
But Trump's wife told NBC's
On Monday night Trump’s wife gave a rare speech — which was well received — but the conversation shifted away from that after it was discovered that there was an entire section that was almost word-for-word the same as Obama’s in 2008.
While not verbatim, the similarity in the statements look higher than 93%.
Here's the excerpt from Obama in 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."
And here's the passage from Trump's remarks Monday night that came under scrutiny:
“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.”
"Certainly, Melania Trump deserves credit for delivering a very nice speech and comported herself well in front of the American people last night," the Florida Democrat said. "The
When asked about Manafort's accusation that Clinton had something to do with it Wasserman Schultz said it was part of a pattern with the campaign.
"You know, the Trump Organization, whether it's Paul Manafort or anyone, all the way up to Donald Trump himself, anytime they are caught red handed engaging in distortions, inaccuracies, a fact pattern that is clearly not accurate, they blame someone else," she said.