The Five Most Absurd Defenses Of Melania Trump's Plagiarism Of Michelle Obama

For months, Donald Trump surrogates have come up with outlandish explanations to justify the presumptive GOP nominee’s wild statements, from defending his racist remarks about a federal judge to insisting that he never really proposed a ban on Muslims from entering the country.

So it was no surprise to see Trump backers twist themselves into knots defending Melania Trump’s speech last night at the Republican National Convention after parts were found to have been clearly plagiarized from a 2008 convention addressed delivered by Michelle Obama.

1) What About The 93% That Wasn’t Plagiarized?

While Trump didn’t select New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as his running mate, Christie is still acting as a loyal surrogate, this time denying the obvious fact that a portion of Melania Trump’s speech was plagiarized.

Christie made the absurd claim that Melania Trump didn’t plagiarize her remarks since “93% of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech.”

Christie later told CNN that he simply knows in his gut that she didn’t plagiarize part of her speech: “If we’re talking about 7% of a speech, that was really, universally considered to be a good performance by Melania. I know her. There’s no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech.”

2) It’s Hillary Clinton’s Fault!

In an interview with CNN, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort denied the “crazy” allegation that Melania Trump was “cribbing Michelle Obama’s speech,” arguing that it was just another “example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she will try to demean her and take her down.”

Manafort later held a press conference at which he said that the controversy proves that “when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy that person.”

3) ‘Fragments Of Words’

In an interview with CBS, Manafort said that Melania Trump only used “fragments of words” that were similar to Michelle Obama's.

“We’re talking about words like compassion, love of family, respect,” he said. “These are not words that are unique words, that belong to the Obamas.”

Earlier today, campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson told The Hill: “This concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd.”

4) Who Cares — It Was A Great Speech!

Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody rose to Melania Trump’s defense while speaking today with “700 Club” host Pat Robertson.

Brody applauded her “great” speech and dismissed the “quote ‘plagiarism’ charges,” saying that “the long-term story here, Pat, is that the reality is that Melania Trump gave a very good speech last night. She was poised, smart, articulate on that stage on Monday night and what that means, Pat, going forward is that Melania Trump needs to get out on the stump.”

“Cleary, she is articulate, doing a very good job — and they need help among women voters and she can be a key part of that,” he added.

Robertson noted that Melania Trump was “absolutely gorgeous” and “Mr. Trump has a good eye for beauty.”

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5) It Was A Good Thing!

Admitted plagiarist Ben Carson said he didn’t see any plagiarism in Melania Trump's remarks, but that even if she did plagiarize, it was a good thing:

“If Melania’s speech is similar to Michelle Obama’s speech, that should make us all very happy because we should be saying, whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, we share the same values,” he told reporters after addressing a Florida GOP delegation breakfast at a hotel here 20 minutes outside of Cleveland, where the RNC is taking place.

“If we happen to share values, we should celebrate that, not try to make it into a controversy,” he added.



“I don’t think they were plagiarized. I think there are general principles that are very valuable to Americans, and of course to express those principles you’re going to use similar language,” Carson said.

Operation Save America To Police: End Violence By Outlawing Abortion

Operation Save America, the organization that grew out of the abortion protest group Operation Rescue, is in Wichita, Kansas, this week commemorating the 25th anniversary of Operation Rescue’s 1991 Summer of Mercy, in which thousands of people were arrested blockading abortion clinics. (The group that is now called Operation Rescue, which has long been in a bitter feud with OSA about its name, has tried to distance itself from the event.)
 
This week’s event has drawn a few hundred people, about half of them from out of state — a sizable group but a far cry from the phenomenon that was the Summer of Mercy. The activists are meeting up to protest in front of clinics and throughout the city in the morning and attending rallies in the evening, where they’re hearing a series of lectures on what OSA leader Rusty Thomas calls the need for a “paradigm shift” in how the anti-abortion movement approaches its cause.
 
Last night, attendees heard from Matt Trewhella, a pastor who runs a group called Missionaries to the Pre-born out of Milwaukee. Trewhella has written a book called “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates,” which argues that “lesser magistrates,” meaning everyone from state governors to county clerks, have the duty to “interpose” to stop unjust laws being enforced by a higher authority. (Marriage equality and abortion rights are two examples; Trewhella also believes that adultery should be a criminal offense.)
 
Thomas riffed off this concept yesterday when he released an “open letter to the police in America” in which he urged police officers to demand that their legislatures call special sessions to “immediately outlaw abortion, grant the police the authority to shut down any death camp in their jurisdiction, and arrest those who participate in the barbaric act of abortion.”
 
The “violence, carnage, terrorism, and massacres” in America, Thomas wrote, are the result of the nation’s “blood guilt” stemming from Roe v. Wade. Also displeasing God, he wrote, is the willingness of law enforcement to be neutral on “sodomy, gay marriage, transgendered bathrooms etc.”
 
“Peace will never come to America as long as our country protects violence in the womb,” he wrote.
 
The swearing of the oath of every police officer ends with these words, “So help me God.” Thus, the oath of office taken by police officers does not just merely acknowledge God, but also implores His help to fulfill this ministry of good for our nation. Ultimately, police officers are called to be faithful to God from whom their lawful authority is established. Again, civil government is a delegated authority under God. Tragically, in recent decades, this oath has been greatly challenged by those who practice evil, (abortion, sodomy, gay marriage, transgendered bathrooms etc.). These subversive entities expect law enforcement to be “neutral” despite the fact that their activities are not only sinful, but criminal according to God. The federal government through immoral, unjust, and unconstitutional decrees has decriminalized their crimes.
 
 
 
The thin blue line that separates the criminal element from society is fading fast. Anarchy runs rampant while government tyranny grows. O ur nation stands in awkward amazement as violence, carnage, terrorism, and massacres are becoming a common everyday experience in our nation. To our horror, this violence has now targeted our law enforcement agencies. Why is this happening? There is only one answer from God’s Word, Blood guilt!
 
America has made a covenant of death with those who seek to murder innocent babies in the womb for blood money. Roe vs. Wade violated the sacred trust of law enforcement, which is to protect life and stop the shedding of innocent blood. Our nation has been defending the indefensible ever since.
 
Law enforcement officers, whom God has appointed to protect the most innocent amongst us are being used to protect those who would harm them. We call upon law enforcement to come out of the shadows of neutrality and join the Church of Jesus Christ to break this covenant with death. We charge them to lend their voice and influence to help end the violence that is not only savaging our nation, but our brave police officers as well.
 
We beseech police departments throughout America to rise up and demand the governor of their perspective states to call a special session. Police officers need to insist their states immediately outlaw abortion, grant the police the authority to shut down any death camp in their jurisdiction, and arrest those who participate in the barbaric act of abortion. Peace will never return to America as long as our country protects violence in the womb. We can shout black lives matter, blue lives matter, or all lives matter till the cows come home, but until preborn lives matter, no lives matter, including the police.

 

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/18/16

  • McKay Coppins @ BuzzFeed: Confessions Of A Dishonest Slob: How The Haters And Losers Got Trump This Close To The White House. 
  • Alan Colmes: Trump: I don’t need to read much because I make decisions ‘with very little knowledge.’

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 7/18/16

  • Arthur Schaper writes, "If I were black person, I would stand up to every 'Gay Pride Parade' and shout 'Get back in the closet! Stop stealing our movement!'" 
  • William May warns that LGBT-friendly curricula in schools "provide our children with a corrupted understanding of love, sexuality, marriage and family." 
  • Joseph Farah says President Obama "seems to favor radical, authoritarian Sunni Islamists, while opposing religious minorities in the Middle East. Make of it what you like." 
  • Larry Klayman claims Obama "is simply the most compromised, corrupt and evil president in American history." 
  • Barbara Simpson asks of the president: "Is he blind? Stupid? Stubborn? A liar? A traitor? Or is he really a Muslim bound to support that belief regardless?"

RNC Speaker Asks God For Democratic Defeat In November

South Carolina pastor Mark Burns, a controversial Donald Trump campaign surrogate, delivered the benediction at today’s meeting of the Republican National Convention, where he used what is often an opportunity for nonpartisan prayer to call on Republicans to unite against “Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.”

“Father God, in the name of Jesus, Lord, we’re so thankful for the life of Donald Trump,” he said. “We’re thankful that you are guiding him, that you are giving him the words to unite this party, this country, that we together can defeat the liberal Democratic Party, to keep us divided and not united. Because we are the United States of America, and we are the conservative party under God.”

He asked God to protect Trump and to “give him the words, give him the peace, give him the power and the authority to be the next president of the United States of America.”

Meet the Speakers: RNC Speaker Once Suggested Gay Lawmaker Wanted To Protect Pedophiles

In the lead-up to and during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, we’ll be profiling some of the activists and politicians invited to speak at the event. Find more of our Meet the Speakers series here.
 
One speaker at today’s session of the Republican National Convention was former Colorado state Rep. Libby Szabo, now a Jefferson County commissioner.
 
Szabo raised eyebrows in 2013 when she went on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program and suggested that the Colorado House speaker, who was openly gay, was “protecting somebody” when he opposed a bill that would have imposed harsh mandatory minimum sentences on people convicted of sexual assault against children. (Critics said that the bill was unnecessary and that current law already provided the protections needed.)
 
ThinkProgress transcribed Szabo’s conversation with O’Reilly:
 
O’REILLY: Now this Ferrandino I understand he is the — what, t he first openly gay House Speaker in Colorado. He was a fervent gay marriage person. He objected when gay marriage was first tabled because they sent it into the same committee to kill it that he sent Jessica’s law in. All that true so far of this guy?
 
SZABO: So far you’re correct.
 
O’REILLY: All right. So this guy doesn’t want tougher mandatory sentences. Have you talked to him about it? Has he said anything to the press about why not?
 
SZABO: You know, I don’t know that the press in Colorado, they covered this issue very well on — on my side of the issue and on Mr. Lunsford’s side of the issue. But I don’t believe he was willing to speak to them because obviously he’s protecting somebody. Obviously the victims hold more credence with him — I mean not the victim— the perpetrators hold more credence with him than the child victims do.
 

 

Meet The Speakers: On Immigration, RNC Tries To Send Conflicting Messages

In the lead-up to and during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, we’ll be profiling some of the activists and politicians invited to speak at the event. Find more of our Meet the Speakers series here.
 
Tonight’s schedule at the Republican National Convention is organized around the Donald Trumpian theme of “Make America Safe Again,” featuring speakers who are poised to talk about immigration, law enforcement and the 2012 Benghazi attack.
 
We’ve already profiled Sheriff David Clarke, the Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, law enforcement official who is likely to throw plenty of anti-Black Lives Matter, anti-Obama, anti-Clinton red meat the crowd. (And who has a troubling sideline as a cheerleader to anti-government groups.) Also on the docket for tonight is former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who we don’t expect to be all that friendly to Black Lives Matter either.
 
On the issue of immigration, the convention’s organizers seem to be trying to walk a fine line between encouraging the anti-immigrant sentiment that has been a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign and attempting to present a more moderate face to a national audience.
 
One notable speaker tonight is Rachel Campos Duffy, who will be speaking alongside her husband, Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. Although the RNC’s schedule presents Campos Duffy as a sidekick to her husband, she has a prominent role in conservative politics in her own right as the national spokesperson for the Libre Initiative, a Koch-funded organization that has been trying to win over Latinos to support conservative candidates.
 
Campos Duffy has chastised her party for what she calls a “tonal problem” on immigration. “Some of the harsher voices within this party have been able to sort of hijack [the immigration debate], in a way, and I think present a face that doesn’t really I think reflect the way so many of us feel about immigrants, about Hispanics,” she said in a 2013 speech.
 
We are not optimistic that she will address this “tonal problem” while speaking at the convention where Donald Trump will be nominated for the presidency.
 
Also reflecting the fact that the GOP’s problem with Latinos is more than just “tonal” is the prominent speaking slot being given tonight to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
 
Sessions has had a close relationship with Trump’s campaign, especially when it comes to shaping the candidate’s draconian immigration policies. A Trump campaign source told journalist Gabriel Sherman in April, “ When Jeff Sessions calls, Trump listens .” Trump consulted with Sessions when he drafted an immigration plan last summer. Earlier this year, a top Sessions aide left to join Trump’s campaign and, shortly afterward, Trump named Sessions the chairman of his foreign policy advisory committee.
 
It’s easy to see why Trump and Sessions get along. In the Senate, Sessions has been a leading critic of immigration reform, helping to defeat immigration reform efforts in 2007 and 2013. In doing so, he has worked closely with the network of anti-immigration organizations started by John Tanton, an immigration restrictionist with a white nationalist bent. Sessions himself has dismissed immigration reform as “ethnic politics” and warned that allowing too many immigrants would create “cultural problems” in the country. Sessions first gained national attention when, in 1986, a bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected his nomination to a federal judgeship in the midst of charges of racial bias.
 
In another attempt at a balancing act on immigration, the convention’s organizers have invited three people, Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden and Jamiel Shaw, to speak as “victims of illegal immigrants.” Mendoza, Durden and Shaw are all grieving parents whose children were killed by undocumented immigrants; Shaw’s son was shot by a gang member and Durden and Mendoza’s children were killed in car crashes.
 
All three have become involved in the Remembrance Project, a group that uses genuinely tragic stories like that of these parents in a cynical attempt to paint undocumented immigrants as criminals. As we wrote in a profile of the group’s founder, Maria Espinoza, in 2014:
 
Espinoza has carved herself a specific niche in the anti-immigrant movement: highlighting cases where American citizens have been killed by undocumented immigrants in an attempt to tie individual crimes to undocumented immigrants as a whole.
 
Espinoza travels the country with her “Stolen Lives Quilt,” which features pictures of people who have been killed by undocumented immigrants, and is sometimes joined by family members of those featured on the quilt. The crimes that Espinoza highlights are indeed tragic, but the subtext of her project is dangerous.
 
Espinoza has close ties to the anti-immigrant movement, has written for a white nationalist magazine, and has even promoted writing from the racist website Daily Stormer. Trump, embracing Espinoza’s message, has promoted her and her group on the campaign trail.
 
These parents have very sad stories to tell. But Trump and the RNC are exploiting those stories to promote the myth of immigrants as criminals that has been a theme of Trump’s campaign from the very beginning.

RNC Descends Into Chaos When Presiding Chair Blocks Never Trump Delegates

The Republican National Convention broke into disarray today when Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, who was serving as the presiding chair, walked off the stage after ruling against a last-ditch effort by Never Trump forces to save their cause. The Never Trump delegates had demanded a roll call vote on the adoption of the convention rules, which they hoped to change in their Hail Mary effort to stop Donald Trump’s nomination.

Politico described the showdown:

The anti-Trump delegates opposed the rules and hoped to vote them down in the roll call vote. Their ultimate goal is to get a new set of rules that allow delegates to vote against Trump even if they are pledged to him based on the results of their state's primary or caucus rules, though they appear unlikely to have the votes to do either.

Womack eventually returned to say that the group pushing for a vote on the rules did not have sufficient support after several states, which he didn’t name, withdrew from the effort.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli led the protests of Womack’s decision to approve the rules on a simple voice vote rather than call for a roll call vote, and the Colorado delegation walked out of the proceedings entirely.

David Barton Hails GOP For Adopting 'The Most Conservative Platform In Modern History'

Religious Right activist David Barton, who served as a member of the GOP’s platform committee this year, joined fellow platform committee member Tony Perkins on Perkins’ radio show Saturday, where he proudly noted that the group put together a platform that has been called “the most conservative platform in modern history.”

Barton was particularly happy that conservatives repelled attempts by some delegates to insert LGBT-friendly language into the platform.

“They turned the entire platform meeting into LGBT issues, they get CNN to run the story, and they call us narrow-minded and single-issued?" he said. "My gosh, the only thing that was important to them in this thing was homosexual sex.”

“It took the focus off the things that were important,” Barton continued. “I was particularly in the subcommittee on the Constitution, and man, the declaration we have of the Constitution, the principles of the declaration, the language of the Constitution, all we did with the First Amendment and the Second Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Ninth Amendment, Tenth, we got a powerful platform, and you’re in the family section, what you guys did was so many – I’ve heard it called that this is the most conservative platform in modern history, and I believe that. I think that’s probably true.”

Mychal Massie: Black Lives Matter 'Worse Than The KKK'

On Friday’s episode of “Trunews” with Rick Wiles, WorldNetDaily’s Mychal Massie called Black Lives Matter a terrorist group that is “worse than the KKK.”

“I think that Black Lives Matter are worse than the KKK,” Massie said. “I believe them to be – they’re treated by this administration with the same kind of care, coddling, and warmness that the Obama administration shows toward the Islamic terrorists. And people say, ‘Well, how can you say they’re worse than the KKK?’ Well, they’re worse than the KKK because the KKK did not have a forum in all of the mainstream newspapers and media outlets to spew their hatred, but Black Lives Matter is given that forum. Black Lives Matter and their adherents are given a platform and legitimized to spew forth hatred under the guise that blacks have it so bad in America, so that makes them worse.

“And with respect to my comparison to them and the Islamic terrorists, when’s the last time CAIR came out and just denounced Islamic terrorism?” he continued. “They give left-handed condemnation, but at the same time, CAIR itself has been associated as a terrorist group, a terrorist-sponsoring group. And it’s the same with Black Lives Matter. When you have groups that are advocating for destruction, acrimony, and violence against other Americans, whether they be foreign or domestic, those are terrorist groups, and that is what Black Lives Matter is.”

Massie argued that the White House and Department of Justice should “do everything in the power of the government to take this group down.”

“Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General, is telling them, ‘We support you in your right to protest.’ Well, when have these people gathered peaceably? And we know that they’re calling for people to go to Cleveland for the Republican Convention and carry guns, so that’s an alchemy in and of itself for violence and bloodshed,” Massie said.

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