Trump Column Appears To Have Plagiarized Chunks Of Carson Op-ed

March 16, 2016 5:00 p.m.

Large swaths of text from an op-ed penned by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump appear to be pulled almost word for word from a column written by Ben Carson just days earlier for another U.S. territorial newspaper.

The sweeping similarities between the columns were first reported Wednesday by the conservative news site Daily Caller.

Carson adviser Armstrong Williams declined to comment to the site, but said in reference to ex-Carson campaign staffers, “There’s no question they’re working for Mr. Trump now.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately response to a TPM request for comment.

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The first column appeared under the byline Dr. Ben Carson in Mariana Variety, a Northern Mariana Islands publication, on Feb. 26. On March 9, a column with Trump’s byline appeared in the Pacific Daily News in Guam. Carson dropped out of the race on March 4 and endorsed Trump one week later.

Carson’s piece begins: “Many Americans do not appreciate the patriotism exhibited by our brothers and sisters in the Territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”

Trump’s column opens, “Throughout the history of our nation, the patriotism exhibited by our brothers and sisters in the Territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands has often gone unacknowledged.”

Carson’s Marianas column also included a three-point bulleted list of U.S. territory-focused policies he planned to implement should he be elected President. The wording for all three of those initiatives appeared almost word for word in Trump’s text less than two weeks later.

In other portions of the texts, the only alterations made between Carson and Trump’s versions were spelling and grammar.

“I am saddened to hear that every day, more and more of you in the territories and commonwealths are leaving your families and homes because the healthcare and educational systems are inadequate,” Carson wrote.

“I am saddened to hear that, every day, more and more citizens in the territories and commonwealths are leaving their families and homes because the health care and educational systems are inadequate,” Trump said in his column.

You can view a color-coordinated side-by-side comparison of the texts over at the Daily Caller.

Trump is far from the first 2016 Republican to run into attribution troubles.

BuzzFeed Politics found Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), once hailed as a top-tier candidate for the nomination, plagiarized texts from Wikipedia entries for movies, online articles, and newspaper op-eds in his speeches and books. Paul eventually owned said the controversy “is my fault,” but many credited the dust-up as a factor in the senator’s demise.

While he was vying with Trump in the GOP race, it was revealed that Carson employed a flexible version of the truth in his personal recollections and eventually apologized for plagiarizing parts of his 2012 book “America the Beautiful”

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