MSNBC Panel On Melania Trump’s Plagiarized Speech: “This Turns This Night Into A Catastrophe”

Steve Schmidt: “This Is A Plagiarized Speech, Hands Down”

From the July 19 edition of MSNBC's The Place for Politics:

Video file

RACHEL MADDOW: We've had a remarkable turn of events. 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Something has happened, you might say. 

MADDOW: This started on social media, people on Twitter first started circulating sort of eyebrow-raising claims about Melania Trump's speech this evening. That led us, because it started to pick up a lot of speed online, it led to us go dig up the archival material and check these claims. And it does appear that are some unusual similarities, some unusual, very tight parallels between Melania Trump's speech tonight and Michelle Obama's speech in a similar position in the 2008 Democratic nominating convention for her husband, Barack Obama. 

WILLIAMS: We have put together just the first rudimentary video comparisons from tonight to '08. As with a lot of things on the appropriately named social media, this started with one person, kind of the butterfly effect. By the time most Americans wake up tomorrow morning, this will likely be a thing. Here now the most rudimentary edit of the passages being highlighted.


STEVE SCHMIDT: Really the highlight of tonight's speech -- the highlight of tonight's activities was Melania Trump's speech. This turns this night into a catastrophe. This is a plagiarized speech, hands down, game, set, match on that. What an outrageous disservice to Melania Trump by the speech writers on that campaign. Nicole Wallace talked earlier today about the fact that the Trump campaign such as it is is not configured like a normal political campaign. And maybe you don't need to be configured like a normal campaign. We know tonight, as you watch the incongruity between the speeches, the lack of a theme, the lack of a connection, the day starting off with the targeting and attacking the Ohio governor, right through the end of the program. Hamilton on Broadway is a great show, a great production, no one leaves it early. Tonight, in the middle of a show, and be clear, this is a show, a lot of people left it early. This is not a good first night, and now you have brought scandal to a prospective First Lady in the form of her convention speech. Just an outrageous incompetence and disservice to her by that campaign. 


CHRIS MATTHEWS: It's devastating and dumb, and here's my question, and it's open to everyone: There was a speech writer, someone did a draft with all these, as Lawrence pointed out perfectly, obviously lifted, the whole thing's lifted, all these chunks of words all in the same sequence, follow the same sequence with the same words. This is plagiarism, and the question is, the speech writer who drafted this knew where he or she got it, Lawrence, they knew they got it from Michelle Obama's speech in the same circumstance, and then they delivered it to their boss, to their client. Why would they do that? Why would they do it on purpose? Because this is purposeful. I know it sounds spooky to say sabotage, but it was so purposeful, you wonder what was the purpose except to sabotage? Because somebody was going to figure this out, and they did, and they got it into the news cycle. We're not even into the morning editions yet. And this is deadly. And I only say sabotage because it's so clear cut that the person who did this did this on purpose. That's what's so hard to figure out, guys.


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