Melania Trump had been viewed as her husband’s secret weapon prior to being wheeled out onto stage at the Republican national Convention in a bid to soften the pugilistic politician’s public persona but her appearance was soon mired in controversy amidst suggestions that much of her speech was cribbed from the current first lady - Michelle Obama.
In her speech Mrs Trump praised her husband as a ‘compassionate’ man, adding that he would ‘fight for his country’ but commentators questioned how heartfelt such sentiments were given the uncanny similarity to a speech delivered by Mrs Obama back in 2008 – including one segment extolling the virtues of ‘values and morals’.
One paragraph in particular came in for scrutiny when Mrs Trump intoned: “My parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect.”
Anyone listening with a sense of déjà vu had their suspicions confirmed after trawling the archives, with Mrs Obama expressing the exact same sentiments, practically word for word: “And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect..."
Another section saw Mrs Trump state: “[My parents] taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow…”
This was more than an echo of Mrs Obama’s own take which was: “And Barack Obama and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generations.”
In a statement Trump’s communication advisor John Miller defended the speech, saying: “Jason Miller issued a statement saying: "In writing her beautiful speech, Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”
Melania Trump, a former model from Slovenia, has kept a low profile in the campaign thus far.