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Trump campaign blaming ghostwriter Meredith McIver for Melania plagiarism scandal

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Monday’s Republican convention opened with Donald Trump’s wife Melania’s passionate speech, in which she plagiarized from First Lady Michelle Obama‘s 2008 convention speech.

After 24 hours of confusion and the campaign’s resistance to admit to plagiarism, it seems America finally has an answer from the Trump campaign confirming it was plagiarism and that a close friend might be responsible.

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The New York Times reports Trump’s son-in-law commissioned the speech from speechwriters Matthew Scully and John McConnell. But Ms. Trump rejected almost all of of it, and asked family friend Meredith McIver to help write her speech. McIver is a former ballet dancer and English major, and it is unclear how much she influenced the speech.

“When Ms. Trump and her staff had finished revising the speech, virtually all that remained from the original was an introduction and a passage that included the phrase ‘a national campaign like no other,'” the New York Times reports.

MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson found that the final version that speechwriters saw did not contain the content that was plagiarized from Obama.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Trump campaign released a statement from McIver calling the plagiarism an “innocent mistake.”

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“Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches,” she said said in the statement. “This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.

“I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused,” McIver added.

(Note: This article has been updated)

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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