Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, took centre stage on the first day of the Republican National Convention as she faced accusations that a portion of her speech plagiarised Michelle Obama.
Commentators noticed similarities with Michelle’s Obama’s 2008 convention speech.
It was Melania’s first speech of the campaign and reports say she had the help of a speechwriting team.
Donald Trump’s communications adviser Jason Miller issued a statement saying: “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.
In a section of her speech, Melania said: “My parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect.”
Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008 carried similar lines: “And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”
Another portion of Mrs Trump’s speech said: “[My parents] taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow, because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Again, Mrs Obama had said: “And Barack Obama and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generations. Because we want our children, and all children in this nation, to know that the only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Melania, a Slovenian-born former model, said of her husband that “He’s tough when he has to be but he’s also kind and fair and caring. The kindness is not always noted, but it’s there for all to see. That is one reason I fell in love with him to begin with.”
“If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he is the guy,” Melania added.
She has kept a lower profile compared with other spouses of major candidates, while Trump’s adult children have often been more prominent.