In a letter posted to the Trump campaign website, longtime employee Meredith McIver has just admitted that she lifted from Michelle Obama the two infamous passages in Melania Trump’s Monday-night RNC address.
It’s the smoking gun that everyone knew would turn up, after almost 36 non-stop hours of the Trump campaign vigorously and relentlessly insisting it never happened. That’s 36 hours of non-stop lying to the American public. And it shows that Mr. Trump, and his entire apparatus, has absolutely no regard for the truth.
Mrs. Trump began her speech at 10:24 PM on Monday, July 18. 6 minutes later, blogger Jarrett Hill posted that she had lifted a line from Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC address. 10 minutes later, he posted another cribbed section. At 1:06 AM on Tuesday, July 19, CNN started talking about this, and at 1:48 AM, the Trump campaign released a statement admitting she included “fragments that included her own thinking.”
Now at this point, any honest political operation would have closed rank and not said a single word until they had sussed out the truth. But at 6:34 that morning, Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort went on CNN and insisted “there is no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech.” He said “to think that she was cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.” Then he insisted “this is once again, an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and tries to take her down.” And then everyone came out of the woodwork to insist that this was a politically-motivated, manufactured scandal. And just a few hours before McIver admitted publicly that she used passages taken from Obama’s address, Manafort was back on TV insisting to Good Morning America that there was absolutely no plagiarism.
Big. Fat. Lies.
As GOP strategist Rick Wilson has pointed out, there is no better Trump. The strategists and writers and managers Trump uses now will be the staff he uses in the White House. Trump’s responses to campaign issues will be his responses in office. This whole campaign is a live audition for the highest job in the land.
To be fair, speech writers crib from each other all the time. It was a few sentences in a fairly meaningless address. Had the campaign managers found the cause, admitted the error, and slapped a few wrists, this could have all blown over. Trump’s campaign is already saying it should.
No, it can not blow over. Because anyone who wants to run a country but can’t even be bothered to find out the facts before reacting can not ever be allowed to hold that office.
Mr. Trump, your campaign is a house of cards. And it’s falling, fast.
Timeline of events from NJ.com.