Melania Trump has been accused of plagiarism again after reporters noticed striking similarities between her recently announced Be Best initiative and Obama-era documents.
- Reporters noticed similarities between Ms Trump’s documents and others released in 2014
- The first lady admonished journalists for the unflattering news coverage
- Ms Trump was also accused of plagiarism in 2016
The first lady launched the children’s wellbeing campaign on Monday (local time) to encourage adults to help teach children to be good citizens.
Several news outlets reported that text and graphics in the material she distributed was similar to information handed out during the Obama administration.
Soon after Ms Trump launched Be Best, NBC News’ Michael Capetta posted a 2016 clip of Michelle Obama speaking with Oprah Winfrey, on the topic of encouraging men to “be better”.
Buzzfeed Tech reporter Ryan Mac posted images of the 2014 and 2018 documents, noting their similarities.
@RMac18: The White House Melania Trump Be Best pamphlet about your kids being online is almost the exact same thing that the FTC published in Jan 2014
First lady’s spokeswoman fires back
Ms Trump admonished journalists to “be best” in their jobs following the unflattering news coverage.
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, took the “opposition media” to task on Tuesday, local time.
She said in a statement that journalists used a day meant to promote positive efforts on behalf of children to lob “baseless accusations towards the first lady”.
Ms Grisham said on Monday, local time, that the Federal Trade Commission asked Ms Trump to include the booklet in her materials.
The White House said the first lady had hoped to use her current standing to “amplify” the earlier documents’ positive message, the BBC reported.
‘One in 87 billion chance’ Ms Trump didn’t plagiarise in 2016
It’s not the first time Ms Trump has been accused of plagiarism. Social media users went into meltdown in 2016 after they noticed overwhelming similarities between a speech by Ms Trump and Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention speech.
An astrophysicist used mathematics to work out that the chances Ms Trump did not plagiarise Ms Obama was just one in 87 billion.
A Trump staffer later apologised for the similarities, explaining that Ms Trump had read sections of Ms Obama’s speech out loud over the phone as examples of the kinds of topics she wanted to cover.
Speech writer Meredith McIver said she included some of the lines in the draft, but failed to change the “phrasing”.