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Eye On Boise

Idaho GOP Chair Yates calls Melania Trump-Michelle Obama plagiarism flap a mere ‘blip’

Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates, who’s a Cruz delegate at the GOP national convention in Cleveland, told Eye on Boise today that he views the plagiarism charges about Melania Trump’s convention speech last night as a mere “blip” that will quickly blow over.

Two paragraphs of the speech were identical, in part, to a speech given by then-prospective First Lady Michelle Obama to the Democratic Party national convention in 2008; here’s a link to CNN’s side-by-side video of the Obama and Trump speeches, and the Detroit News has a comparison here of the passages.

Yates said at the convention, “For the most part, people think it’s kind of a cheap shot against her. … There is an enormous amount of ignorance to think that speeches are written by high-profile speakers on a convention floor.” He added, “Also, the lines in question, whether in some combination or pieces thereof, I have to confess, I have heard hundreds if not thousands of politicians say over and over, and I seriously doubt Mrs. Obama invented them. I think the question is: Does anyone think those words are an inaccurate expression of Melania Trump’s experience or what she was trying to say?” He said if not, everyone should just “move on.”

“For most of us at the convention, it’s nothing more than a blip,” he said. “They were impressed with the messenger and the message. My sense it it’s all going to be in the rear-view mirror by tonight.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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