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

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Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough (MSNBC)

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.”

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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.

“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.”

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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.”

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.

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“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.

“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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2020 Election

Chaos at Trump White House as impending staff shake-ups revealed ahead of election

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The Trump administration is wreaking havoc again with its latest shake-up within government agencies as the White House says it’s preparing for President Donald Trump to be re-elected.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent out an email to administration officials on Monday. According to Axios, Meadows explained the impending changes.

“To prepare for the upcoming transition, I’ve asked John McEntee to look at replacing the White House Liaisons (WHLs) at many of your agencies. John will be working with outgoing liaisons to explore other opportunities,” Meadows said. “As you know, WHLs are senior-level staff responsible for managing the political appointee portfolio. The WHLs serve as a contact for the White House within each agency, rather than as the agency’s contact back to the White House and therefore these selections are at the discretion of the White House.”

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe fears US cannot survive four more years of Trump’s ‘fascist instincts’

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called out President Donald Trump's "fascist instincts" and worried that democratic institutions could not survive a second term.

The "Morning Joe" host was alarmed by the president's latest racist attacks at a Pennsylvania rally, and panelist Jason Johnson said Germans warned him in 2016 that Trump reminded them of Adolf Hitler.

"I was across the ocean and had Germans saying, 'I can't believe you Americans don't see that this is coming,'" Johnson said, "and I think the most worrisome part that I have to say in all of this is, you're right, yeah, there were people who called it out, Black people, Latinos, Asians who called it out. I think it took too long for many members of the press to accept that, and people who were saying it in 2015 were sometimes called, you know, you're being hyperbolic, you're using extreme language, it won't get that bad, other people will keep him in control, and that's why we are where we are today."

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GOP senator’s hyped report on Biden and Ukraine is a dud with ‘minimal, if any, evidence’: reporter

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been hyping up a report that purportedly implicates Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in corrupt activities in Ukraine.

But according to Politico's Kyle Cheney, Johnson's report is not going to be nearly as explosive as Republicans hoped, and he describes it as "an 87-page rehash of previously known allegations (with minimal, if any, evidence), news articles and impeachment testimony."

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