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‘Morning Joe’ panel blasts Trump campaign for Melania’s plagiarized speech: ‘It is a ripoff’

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Melania Trump gave the first major speech of her life Monday night at the Republican National Convention — but her success will be overshadowed by some pretty obvious plagiarism accusations.

Portions of the speech closely resembled a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention, and panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” blamed Donald Trump’s bare-bones campaign staff for the ethical lapse.

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“If you turned off the TV even an hour after her speech, as Joe (Scarborough) said, the reaction was, ‘Wow, for someone who stepped onto a stage and made the first big public speech of her life, she nailed it,'” said panelist Willie Geist. “If you wake up this morning to this, I just ask you, how does this happen? How does it happen? Because when you see it side by side, it is a ripoff.”

Panelist Mark Halperin said Trump’s campaign did a “huge disservice” to the candidate’s wife by allowing her to give the plagiarized speech.

“It’s a campaign that is so skeletal, they’re lucky that stuff like this doesn’t happen more often, given how few people work there,” Halperin said. “No campaign that had a full apparatus could possibly let something like this happen, and this is the way conventions are scored. It’s unfortunate for her, because if this hadn’t happened, the story today would be what an incredible job she did. Instead, the story is the campaign let her down.”

“I think by the end of today, probably sooner, someone in the campaign’s going to take responsibility for this and have to leave,” Halperin added. “Not only for accountability, but also to take the onus off of her.”

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But the Trump campaign started Tuesday morning by denying the strong, word-for-word similarities were plagiarized from the First Lady’s speech.

“There was no plagiarism, the lines from Melania’s speech were not lifted,” campaign manager Paul Manafort said on CNN, and then flatly denied the similarities could be described as plagiarism. “Of course not.”

The “Morning Joe” studio audience then erupted into laughter, and the panelists said that couldn’t be a good sign for Trump and his campaign.

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“This is the same man that came on our show yesterday morning and called John Kasich, the governor of this state, an embarrassment,” said co-host Mika Brzezinski. “Why don’t we think that maybe Paul Manafort should look for another job. I’m serious.”

The studio audience again erupted in laughter, and then loud applause.

“That guy is so negative, that guy is so divisive,” Brzezinski said, as the audience continued to clap. “What does he do besides create trouble.”

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Scarborough distanced herself from Brzezinski’s comments, which seemed to annoy her, and she got another round of applause when she asked the audience whether they agreed.

“Guys, we’ve got a crisis management issue here,” Scarborough said. “When you make a mistake, and it’s clear you (made) a mistake, you get it behind you as quickly as possible.”

He said Trump’s campaign has too often let problems “bleed and bleed and bleed” instead of reacting quickly and then moving past them.

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“This will be the story of the day until they do something to change the story of the day,” Halperin said.


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House Judiciary Committee considering vote to hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the House Judiciary Committee is considering a vote to hold President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress, after a lengthy hearing on Wednesday in which Lewandowski aggressively attacked members of the committee and admitted that he routinely lies to media outlets.

This development comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told members of her caucus that she supports holding Lewandowski in contempt.

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Georgia substitute teacher fired for allegedly putting students on racist list of ‘angels’ and ‘devils’

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On Thursday, the Daily Mail reported that a substitute teacher at Awtrey Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia has been fired after children complained that he was branding "black children as devils and white children as angels."

Students took pictures of the note and sent it to their parents, causing outrage.

"A substitute teacher was fired after school administration was made aware that the substitute composed two lists, one titled 'angels' and the other titled 'devils,'" said one school administrator. "The names of black and white students appeared in both columns."

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Public school employee pawned school-issued gun because he needed gas money: report

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A Florida man's need for gas money has landed him in jail.

"A former Pinellas County school guardian was arrested Wednesday and charged with five counts of false verification of ownership for pawning a handgun and other items issued to him by the Sheriff’s Office," the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday.

It allegedly occurred multiple times.

"Detectives started looking into Erick Russell, 37, after he was arrested Sept. 5 on charges of domestic battery and false imprisonment," the newspaper reported. "They discovered Russell had pawned his sheriff’s-issued Glock 17 9 mm firearm and two magazines on three occasions during a one-month period from July 2 to Aug. 1."

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