UPDATE III - Trump is outraged over this "humiliation" and "heads will roll"...or it's not plagiarism at all, and no one will be disciplined. Take your pick, all via Trumpworld:
CNN learns Trump campaign has no plans to fire anybody on campaign or to take any disciplinary action against anyone for Melania speech— Christina Manduley (@cmanduley) July 19, 2016
"Melania has been humiliated. No doubt heads are going to roll," a source within the Trump campaign tells NBC News https://t.co/SgyPzwTz4v— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 19, 2016
Trump spox Katrina Pierson: Melania didn't plagiarize her RNC speech. She didn't mean to copy anything. "English isn't her native language."— Liam Stack (@liamstack) July 19, 2016
Trump/CNN surrogate/analyst Scottie Hughes just said Mister Trump is furious about the plagiarism & someone will pay.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 19, 2016
UPDATE II - Fired Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski -- who is reportedly still getting paid and a part of the candidate's inner circle -- is now effectively calling for the resignation of his erstwhile rival Paul Manafort, the man who vanquished him in an intense internal power struggle. See the MSNBC clip below for additional context. On RNC day two, the dagger is plunged:
UPDATE -- Here's today's groan-worthy spin, followed by a "wow" report from Morning Joe's team, detailing the backstory to all of this, and the internal sniping within the Trump campaign. For what it's worth, the RNC Chairman thinks the plagiarism is 'probably' a fireable offense:
"What she did was use words that are common words," Paul Manafort, explaining away plagiarism in Melania Trump's convention.— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) July 19, 2016
LATEST: What we know right now about how Melania Trump's speech flap unfolded https://t.co/q4JM4vtvhT— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) July 19, 2016
Also, remember this?
Two full passages, ripped off nearly word-for-word. There are several mash-ups floating around on social media, but this one is the most damning, I think. The juxtaposition speaks for itself. Indisputable, surreally stupid, plagiarism:
So that's pretty blatant, right? pic.twitter.com/EPnHME7afV— Mike Hearn (@mikehearn) July 19, 2016
This is an embarrassing, unforgivable, unforced error by the Trump campaign. Here's why:
(1) Melania Trump's speech was one of the highlights of the convention's opening night -- which fizzled down the stretch, as multiple "featured" speeches bled well past primetime, lost live televised coverage, and were delivered to an increasingly abandoned arena. Poor planning and execution, especially from the showbiz candidate's campaign. Even so, Mrs. Trump's well-received and nearly universally-praised remarks were a clear bright spot. Until the plagiarism was revealed, that is, at which point it began to dominate postgame coverage. It will be a major storyline again today.
(2) As I said on Twitter as the revelation began catch fire online, it's pretty clear that somebody knowingly stole those lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech in Denver. That person either assumed no one would notice, which is extreme foolishness -- or they were certain somebody would, which is sabotage. Worse, the bits they reproduced without attribution were about the importance of honesty and hard work. A disaster.
(3) The claim that Mrs. Trump wrote the speech almost entirely by herself will have to be walked back, and desperate scapegoating will ensue. The ghostwriter is at fault for doing it. The media is to blame for noticing. Factions and figures within the campaign are responsible for inadequate vetting (nice work on that front in general, guys):
Person close to Trump is blaming Paul Manafort for "approving speeches," says excellently sourced @costareports on MSNBC— Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) July 19, 2016
(4) Meanwhile, Trump himself is likely furious at the humiliation of his wife, for which she was almost certainly not responsible. Not the sort of thing you want occupying your candidate's mind in the middle of a crucial week. Either way, between the acrimonious floor fight and this almost farcical episode, day one of the Republican National Convention produced two unhelpful narratives: Party disunity, and abject incompetence. The latter being especially damaging, given that several speakers sought to build the case against Hillary Clinton's incompetence during the same program. And speaking of Mrs. Clinton...
Sarah Hurwitz, Michelle's head speechwriter, used to be Hillary's. So the Trump campaign plagiarized from a Hillary speechwriter.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 19, 2016
Knife twist. Amateur hour. And what on earth does this unresponsive word salad actually mean? Aside from being an implicit assignment of blame to speechwriters, as forecasted in item three, of course:
Trump camp Statement on Melania Trump Speech pic.twitter.com/12SrrtHNvA— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 19, 2016
The blame game is well underway, it seems:
Lots of cross-chatter across TrumpWorld tonight...— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 19, 2016
Some pointing finger at Manafort & deputies, others at Trump Org staffers who asstd MT