Donald Trump‘s campaign chairman on Tuesday defended Melania Trump’s convention speech the night before, insisting nobody believes the speech was copied from a Michelle Obama 2008 speech.

 

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Paul Manafort blamed Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and the media for pushing accusations that Trump’s speech plagiarized Obama.

 

“When Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person,” Manafort said.

 

“But it’s politics, we recognize it and we’re just going to move,” he added. “We’re focusing on the message that Melania Trump gave last night. The American people are focusing on it. We’re very pleased about it.”

 

Passages from Melania Trump’s speech Monday night at the Republican National Convention were strikingly similar to Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

 

It included precise phrases and words that were identical to the first lady’s 2008 address. 

 

Manafort said accusations of plagiarism are “totally ignoring the facts of the speech itself.” There wasn’t anything in Melania Trump’s speech that doesn’t reflect her thinking, he said.

 

“We’re comfortable that the words that she used are words that were personal to her. The fact that there are things like care and respect and compassion. Those are not extraordinary words. When you talk about family, they’re normal words.”

 

“Obviously Michelle Obama feels very much similar sentiments towards her family,” he said.

 

Manafort also told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he agrees with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus that he would probably fire someone if he found out someone plagiarized parts of the speech, but noted “nobody believes” the speech was plagiarized.

 

“There were a few words on it, but they’re not words that were unique words. Ninety-nine percent of that speech talked about her being an immigrant and love of country and love of family and everything else,” he said. 

 

“This is totally blown out of proportion.”

 

 

 

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