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Speechwriter: Trump Jr. Did Not Plagiarize RNC Speech

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Social media is questioning whether Donald Trump Jr. plagiarized his speech at the Republican National Convention a day after Melania Trump was accused of lifting phrases from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention.


Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" tweeted a passage from Trump Jr.'s speech where it appears it was taken from a piece F.H. Buckley wrote for The American Conservative.

Trump Jr. said: "Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they're stalled on the ground floor. They're like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers."

Buckley's piece read, "What should be an elevator to the upper class is stalled on the ground floor… Our schools and universities are like the old Soviet Department stores whose mission was to serve the interests of the sales clerks and not the customers."

However, Buckley told Business Insider that he helped to write Trump Jr.'s speech.

"I was a speechwriter for this speech. So I'm afraid there's no issue here," he told Business Insider.

Buckley also shot back at those claiming it was plagiarism on his Twitter, "Except it wasn't stealing."

This comes after the Republican presidential nominee's wife, Melania, made a speech at the RNC that contained two passages that matched nearly word-for-word the speech the first lady delivered at the DNC in 2008.

In Mrs. Obama's 2008 speech in Denver, she said: "And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like, you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, that 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."

Another passage with notable similarities that follows two sentences later in Mrs. Trump's speech addresses her attempts to instill those values in her son.

"We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow," Mrs. Trump said. "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."

In the first lady's 2008 speech, she said, "Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them onto 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 hard for them."

Trump Jr. told CBS News earlier Tuesday that Melania Trump's speechwriters should be to blame.

"I imagine there's people who shouldn't have done that or who should have cleaned it up better," Trump Jr. said.

He added, "I'm proud of the way she did."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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