Donald Trump, Jr. Unplugged

Trump Campaign's Melania Speech Defense Made Things Worse
Plagiarism denials invite criticism of "horrific staff work"

This wasn't the reaction presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and his wife Melania expected when they left the stage Monday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump's advisers and surrogates stuck to their defense of Melania Trump in numerous television appearances Tuesday, insisting that similarities between her Republican National Convention opening night speech and one delivered in 2008 by Michelle Obama were purely coincidental.  

But the denials served only to cause the ripple of criticism over the plagiarism allegations to grow into a wave.  

Manafort Denies Melania Cribbed Michelle Obama's Speech
Trump campaign chairman blames Hillary Clinton for stirring up story

Melania Trump used, "common words and values," in a Republican National Convention speech that paralleled remarks by Michelle Obama in 2008, and to think that the address was plagiarized is "crazy," Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort said Tuesday morning.  

"There's no cribbing Michelle Obama’s speech," Manafort told CNN. "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 Michele Obama’s words is crazy."