Melania Trump speech: 'We didn't plagiarise, blame Clinton'

Donald and Melania Trump on stage (Reuters)
Donald and Melania Trump on stage (Reuters)

Donald Trump's presidential campaign is blaming Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton over the controversy surrounding Melania Trump's plagiarism of Michelle Obama.

Ms Trump's speech yesterday to close day one of the Republican convention bore a remarkable similarity to one made by Ms Obama at the Democrat convention back in 2008.

Ms Trump, a former model from Slovenia, said she had read the speech over "once" because she wanted it to sound fresh, and that she had a "little" help in writing it.

It's believed the speech had been carefully prepared for Ms Trump over a six-week period.

Mr Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort flatly denied the possibility of plagiarism in Ms Trump's speech, telling CNN: "These are common words and values. She was speaking in front of 35 million people last night; she knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy."

Mr Manafort then took aim at the Clinton campaign, saying: "This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down."

He then told reporters that there's a "political tint" to the allegations of plagiarism, before accusing the Clinton campaign of being the first to spread them without offering up any credible evidence.

Mr Manafort said no one would be fired over 'speech-gate', and that it was time to move on without further addressing the issue.

Former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, who was fired last month, said that whoever was responsible for writing Ms Trump's speech should be fired.

Meanwhile Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said he'd probably fire whoever was responsible for including plagiarised quotes, but remarked: "It kinda depends on the circumstances and how these things are written."