Republican strategist Sean Spicer defended Melania Trump against allegations of plagiarization in her primetime speech during the Republican convention's opening night by bringing up an unlikely character: Twilight Sparkle from "My Little Pony."
Spicer in a CNN interview cited the purple unicorn to place Mrs. Trump's words into perspective, arguing that overlapping phrases or words said by different people are not all that difficult to find, especially in Melania Trump's 14-minute speech praising her husband. In his interview, Spicer referred to one phrase, "the strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them."
"Twilight Sparkle from 'My Little Pony' said, 'This is your dream. Anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now,'" Spicer told Wolf Blitzer.
And he didn't stop there, going on to note similarities in phrases used by musical artists such as John Legend, Kid Rock and Ice-T.
"I mean if we want to take a bunch of phrases and run them through Google and say, 'hey, who else has said them?' I can come up with a list in five minutes, and that's what this is," he added.
Contrary to Spicer's claim, however, Turnitin, a website frequently used in academia to identify plagiarism, examined the speeches of the current first lady and her possible successor and found that "the likelihood that a 16-word match is 'just a coincidence' is less than one in a trillion," the Washingtonian first reported.
Even more unlikely, then, is attributing a 23-word match to chance, which is what happened when Mrs. Trump said, "Values that you work hard for, what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say." Mrs. Obama delivered those same remarks in 2008.
Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was also quick to defend the billionaire's wife Tuesday morning. On "CBS This Morning," he said ""[T]here are not that many similarities. They're a couple of phrases. I mean we're talking about words like compassion, love of family, respect. I mean these are not words that are unique words that belong to the Obamas."
Trump's defenders also didn't pass up the opportunity to boomerang attacks toward Hillary Clinton's campaign, accusing her of being the source of the plagiarism accusations. Jarrett Hill, a 31-year old journalist who was laid off recently, first tweeted the striking similarities long before other Democrats weighed in.
The Trump campaign told CNN on Tuesday that it doesn't plan to take disciplinary action.
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