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No, Donald Trump Jr. didn’t plagiarize part of his speech

Republican National Convention: Day Two Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the second night of the Republican National Convention ended, Twitter erupted at the news that Donald Trump Jr.’s speech might also have been plagiarized, just like his stepmother Melania's speech on night one. In this case, the original source was F.H. Buckley, a law professor at George Mason University who writes for the American Conservative:

But it was a false alarm. "I was a principal speechwriter for the speech," Buckley told Vox. "So it's not an issue."

So here's the difference, and it's big: Melania Trump's convention speech copied whole paragraphs from Michelle Obama's convention speech. That's not okay. Don Trump Jr.'s speech was written by a speechwriter who used some of his past material in the speech. You can argue whether that's the height of speechwriting, but there's nothing unethical about it — it would be a very weird standard to argue that writers couldn't take a line they were proud of writing in a small-circulation policy magazine and let a political figure they like use it in a major national speech.


Did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama?