The Plagiarized Parts of Melania Trump's Speech Weren't in Speechwriter's Draft

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jul 20, 2016 7:30 AM
The Plagiarized Parts of Melania Trump's Speech Weren't in Speechwriter's Draft

After Melania Trump delivered remarks Monday evening during the opening night of the Republican National Convention, it was quickly reported that two full passages were plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC address. The top question on Google for Melania Trump the next morning was, ‘who wrote her speech?’

That’s a good question, because according to new reports, it wasn’t her speechwriter.

NBC News reported Tuesday night that the draft Republican speechwriter Matthew Scully submitted toDonald Trump’s campaign did not include the phrases Melania Trump delivered that matched nearly word-for-word remarks Michelle Obamamade in 2008. 

A senior Trump aide told NBC News that Scully submitted an early draft to the campaign that was rejected, and the process was started again. The aide said Scully’s draft did not become a template for the final version. 

The New York Times reported that the campaign hired two high-profile speechwriters — Matthew Scully and John McConnell, who worked on signature addresses such as George W. Bush’s remarks after the 9/11 terror attacks — to help draft Melania Trump’s speech.

They sent a draft but then — “Weeks went by. They heard nothing,” the Times reported, because Melania Trump was uncomfortable with the text, which she began to change. 

After interviewing more than a dozen people involved with or close to the Trump campaign, the Times pieced together what it believes happened.

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, brought Scully and McConnell in to help, but Melania Trump turned instead to Meredith McIver, who worked on some of Donald Trump’s books, the Times reported. 

It’s not clear how much input McIver had, but sources told the paper that by the time Trump and her staff finished revising the speech, nearly all that remained from the original was the introduction and a passage with the phrase “a national campaign like no other.”

It wasn’t until Melania delivered the speech on Monday night that the original speechwriters saw what little was left of the draft they submitted.