Speed Reads

'common words'

Trump campaign chair calls Melania plagiarism allegations 'crazy'

Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort thinks it's "just really absurd" that anyone would even suggest Melania Trump lifted Michelle Obama's words for her speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday night. "I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night," Manafort said Tuesday morning on CNN's New Day. "She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy."

Manafort explained that the only reason Trump's words might appear strikingly similar to Obama's is because "these are common words and values that she cares about — her family, things like that." The passages called into question dealt with passing values along to the next generation, including the importance of hard work. Trump and Obama both said — nearly word for word — that "your word is your bond" and what you achieve depends on "your dreams and your willingness to work" for them, but Manafort maintained there was no plagiarism to be had.

Then, just in case a flat-out denial of the allegations didn't work, Manafort decided to bring Hillary Clinton into it. "This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down," Manafort said. "It's not going to work."

Watch a portion of Manafort's interview, below. Becca Stanek