Though the evening was rife with bombast, bigotry, and blunders,  the episode dominating national headlines following the Republican National Convention’s (RNC) opening night was Melania Trump’s alleged plagiarism of a speech given in 2008 by future First Lady Michelle Obama.

“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values and keep your promise. ,” Trump, the third wife of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, told the assembled delegates Monday evening. (Text bold for emphasis)

Trump continued: “They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow, “

In comparison, Obama told the Democratic convention in 2008, “Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, you’re going to do. …And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. .”

After the similarities were first pointed out on Twitter by journalist Jarrett Hill, the response by the Trump campaign evolved from denial to partial admission, though by Tuesday morning it remained unclear who would be held responsible for the “ripoff,” as MSNBC commentator Willie Geist put it.

Campaign chairman Paul Manafort rebuffed the accusations, telling CNN‘s “New Day” Tuesday morning that the lifted phrases are simply composed of “common words and values.”

Manafort went on to suggest that Melania Trump, who had never made a public speech on this level before, was alone responsible for its contents and further insinuated that somehow the womanhood of presidential rival Hillary Clinton was to blame for the firestorm.

“I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night,” Manafort continued. “She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy. This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down.”

Later, Manafort told CBS‘ “This Morning” that the “fragments of words,” which included sentiments “like compassion, love of family, respect…are not words that are unique words, that belong to the Obamas.”

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