All day Tuesday, Melania Trump's now-infamous speech at the RNC was widely lambasted for plagiarizing several lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at the DNC. Despite the criticism, Trump staffers came out of the woodwork with a host of excuses for lifting the lines, with Donald Trump labeling his wife's speech "a success."
“In her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” his communications advisor Jason Miller told reporters in a statement. “Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through her in her speech, which made it such a success.”
That's quite a different take on plagiarism from the way Trump saw it as recently as last year. Let's take a look back to The Celebrity Apprentice season seven, where Trump fired former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Ian Ziering ostensibly for using the tune of "La Cucaracha" as the basis for a jingle.
"That's 'La Cucaracha'! You're copying it!" Trump exclaims at one point, before going on to "fire" him.
As Ziering was quick to point out after being "fired," "La Cucaracha" is in fact in the public domain, meaning he would legally have been allowed to use it.
But that didn't seem to matter to Trump, who seemed to either not know that or not care, taking issue with Ziering copying any part of the song. "You're copying a very well known and very successful jingle…what good does that do? What good does that do? It's really a copy of a very famous jingle, you couldn't have used it," Trump says, with interjections from Ziering and the late Joan Rivers. "That tune is certainly a copy because I've been hearing it for my whole life…you're using 'La Cucaracha.' You're not using the words but you're using the same tune."
Melania's speech copied the same words, enough for an entire paragraph, almost verbatim from Obama's.