A former Donald Trump campaign manager turned commentator told CNN on Tuesday that whoever wrote Melania Trump's speech for the Republican National Convention should be fired amid claims that portions of it were plagiarized from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention address.
"I agree with (Republican National Committee Chair) Reince Priebus, whoever was the staff person who wrote this speech should be held accountable and be fired," Corey Lewandowski said. "I know accountability in the Trump campaign -- I know what it's like to be fired from the Trump campaign."
Lewandowski worked for the Trump campaign until late last month, when a spokeswoman wished him the best and announced he would no longer be working for the campaign.
Priebus, for his part, defended Melania Trump at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast Tuesday morning and said he would "probably" fire the speech writer behind the address.
"I don't blame her," Priebus told journalist gathered for the breakfast. "Some of these things are pretty common themes."
Meanwhile, CNN reported that the Trump camp had no plans to fire anyone in relation to the speech.
On Tuesday morning, Paul Manafort spoke to the news station about the accusations.
"There's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech," he said, according to Politico. "These are common words and values that she cares about her family, things like that. 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. This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It's not going to work."
A portion of Mrs. Trump's speech was identical – and another portion nearly identical – to Mrs. Obama's speech.
The tape tells the tale, and a transcript of Mrs. Obama's speech is posted via NPR.
A handful of the first lady's words are changed, and Mrs. Trump's speech deviated from Mrs. Obama's track briefly but came back to the words of her potential predecessor in short order.
Here are transcripts of the matching portions of the speech:
"My parents impressed on me the value of 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. Show the values and morals 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."
Michelle 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 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."
A statement on the Trump campaign website called the speech "a success."
"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."
Donald Trump himself appeared to have enjoyed the speech.
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