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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.”

“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.

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

(Note: This article has been updated)


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A whopping 14 percent of new US COVID-19 cases are coming from Texas

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With the daily number of new coronavirus infections in Texas now exceeding that of most other states, experts say Texas has become a hot spot of the global pandemic and that more aggressive measures are needed to slow the virus’ spread.

Texas’ new confirmed cases of the coronavirus now make up around 14% of the U.S. total — measured by a seven-day average — a significantly higher proportion than its 9% share of the nation’s population. Since July 1, the U.S. has reported 358,027 new infections. Of those, 50,599 were in Texas.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 10,000 new cases — representing nearly 20% of the nation’s new cases for the day. It could be a “catch-up” from the July 4 holiday, DSHS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, noting that numbers reported Sunday and Monday were lower.

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Devastating new ad uses Ronald Reagan’s words against Trump to stunning effect

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The Lincoln Project is not the only right-wing group that has been creating attack ads slamming President Donald Trump. Another is Republican Voters Against Trump, which uses the words of President Ronald Reagan in its latest video to illustrate Trump’s failures as president.

In the ad — which lasts one minute and 40 seconds — RVAT contrast Reagan’s words with images of the U.S. during the Trump era. The message is not subtle: Under Trump, the United States is a long way from Reagan’s vision for the country.

The ad isn’t aimed at liberals and progressives, many of whom would argue that Reagan’s economic policies were bad for the American working class during the 1980s. It asks Republicans: “Has your party left you?”

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The sheep-like loyalty of Trump supporters is starting to backfire

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Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump’s new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.

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