From the July 19 edition of CNN's New Day:
CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): Who takes the fall for cribbing Michelle Obama's speech in 2008? Whose fault is that?
PAUL MANAFORT: Well, there's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech. These are common words and values, that she cares about her family, things like that. I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy. I mean, this is once again an example of when a women threatens Hillary Clinton how she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It's not going to work.
CUOMO: All I'm saying is the language is strikingly similar. I'm not making a big deal of it. I know everybody's talking about it this morning, but I don't think it's an allegation. It's not some suggestion without proof. I think it happened. I don't understand why the campaign doesn't just own it and say people borrow phrases, that's what happened and moved on. That's what, ironically, Obama did in 2008 when Clinton said that he cribbed from Deval Patrick. He said, “Yeah, you're right, I did it.”
MANAFORT: He did do it. That's correct. But in this particular case --
CUOMO: But Melania didn't --
MANAFORT: There was a collaboration. Certainly there's no feeling on her part that she did it, that what she did was use words that are common words. To expect her to think that she would do something like that, knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd.
CUOMO: Right, but again that's assuming that it was Melania. I'm sure there were writers involved. That's the way you want to explain it, that's up to you.