Donald Trump campaign dismisses criticism of Melania’s speech

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The Trump campaign on Tuesday dismissed criticism that Melania Trump directly lifted two passages nearly word-for-word from the speech that first lady Michelle Obama delivered in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention, calling the complaints “just absurd.”

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“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, said on Tuesday. “Certainly, there’s no feeling on her part that she did it,” he said. “What she did was use words that are common words.”

Mrs. Trump’s star turn at the Republican National Convention Monday night captivated a GOP crowd that had rarely heard from the wife of Donald Trump. The passages in question focused on lessons that Trump’s wife says she learned from her parents and the relevance of their lessons in her experience as a mother.

Manafort said Mrs. Trump was aware of “how her speech was going to be scrutinized” and said any notion that she picked up portions of Mrs. Obama’s convention talk was “just absurd.”