A new report out Tuesday suggests the blame for Melania Trump’s plagiarized convention speech could fall more squarely on the former model and complicates the narrative that a speechwriter or other staffers were to blame for the high-profile embarrassment.
Two anonymous sources briefed on the matter told the New York Times that Matthew Scully, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush working on contract, wrote an early draft of Trump’s speech several weeks ago.
But Trump made substantial changes to the draft, with help from a Trump Organization employee, once she got her hands on Scully’s text, one anonymous source told the newspaper.
The plagiarism issue quickly became the dominant media story on day two of the Republican National Convention. While initially praised as a humanizing speech from the reserved woman who could be the next first lady, journalist Jarrett Hill quickly surfaced a passage from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention address that appeared nearly verbatim in Trump’s address.
While Team Trump has praised the speech for its context, denied any “cribbing” from Obama and tried to shift the blame to Hillary Clinton, others called for the party responsible for the plagiarism to be fired for their role in the misstep.