Did Melania Trump plagiarize from Michelle Obama?

Last Updated Jul 19, 2016 1:57 AM EDT

Donald Trump's wife, Melania, was receiving plaudits for her speech at the Republican convention Monday night, for its positive message devoid of the political attacks that characterized the vast majority of the rest of the primetime speeches.

But then, on Twitter, @JarrettHill first noticed a striking similarity between Trump's speech and speeches that First Lady Michelle Obama delivered on her husband's behalf in 2008 and 2012.


"My parents impressed on me the value of that you work hard for what you want in life," Trump said at the Republican convention Monday night. "That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. Show the values and morals in in the daily life. That is the lesson that we continue to pass on to our son.

"We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. [Cheering] Because we want our children in these nations to know that the only limit to your achievement is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."

Vox pointed out that this seems lifted from Michelle Obama's Democratic convention speech 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 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."

Trump claimed to have penned the speech on her own, mostly.

"I wrote it -- with a little help as possible," Melania Trump told NBC News' Matt Lauer in an interview Monday.

After the first night of the convention former top Obama adviser David Axelrod was calling Trump's speech "flat out plagiarism."

"Whoever did that was grossly irresponssible," he said on CNN, wondering, "How could anyone be so fundamentally stupid?"

Trump campaign Senior Communications Advisor Jason Miller issued a statement saying, "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."