The View’s Whoopi Goldberg delivered a deliberate understatement on Tuesday morning when she noted that Melania Trump’s GOP Convention speech the night before sounded “somewhat familiar” to the one First Lady Michelle Obama delivered at the DNC in 2008. “Now, Trump's campaign manager calls any accusations of plagiarism crazy,” she added of Paul Manafort’s decision to enter full-on denial. “But you know what? [I’ve] been called crazy before.”
After playing back-to-back clips of the nearly identical passages from each speech, Goldberg joked, “I think you may have missed when Melania said, ‘And Barack and I…’”
Co-host Sunny Hostin said she knew something was up when Trump used the phrase, “Your word is your bond.” At first she thought the candidate’s wife was “really hip” because those same words have been used by Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and other rappers. “Melania’s from the block, whoa!” she thought before she realized what had happened.
“Don't you feel a little bit sorry for her?” Joy Behar asked, breaking into an impression of the foreign-born model. “‘Don't send me back to Slovenia, please Donald!’”
“I feel sorry in a way,” Behar continued, “because somebody sabotaged her, possibly. they're out to get her maybe, or out to get Donald.”
In an official statement that failed to fully address the controversy, the Trump campaign said, "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. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”
But Manafort went much further during an interview with CNN, somehow blaming the entire thing on Hillary Clinton, without explanation. “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton she’ll... take her down,” he told Chris Cuomo Tuesday morning.
“Dude, what are you talking about?” an incensed Goldberg asked. “Stop it!”
Melania Trump has not yet addressed the backlash directly, but during an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show the morning of the speech, she said she “wrote it” herself, with “as little help” as possible.
“She said, ‘I wrote the speech with a little help... from Michelle Obama,” Behar joked. At the very least, she said the writer of the speech should not have been “stupid” enough to steal from recent history. “Go back to Abigail Adams, find something from her!” Behar said.
The narrative that Melania Trump is a victim in all of this also came across on Morning Joe earlier today, where co-host Mika Brzezinski blamed “whoever” put together the speech for not recognizing her “value.”
“This a multi-lingual woman with international experience. She could have spoken in several languages,” Brzezinski said. “I thought her speech — except for the plagiarism — was lovely, but it could have been incredible.”