Donald Trump Jr. Accused of Recycling Language in RNC Speech After Melania Trump Plagiarism Scandal

Copy and paste, round two? Donald Trump Jr. was accused of recycling language from an article about his father, Donald Trump, during his 2016 Republican National Convention speech, just one day after stepmom Melania Trump’s plagiarism scandal.

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Donald Trump Jr. speaks at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 19, 2016. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

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During Donald Jr.’s address on Tuesday, July 19, the businessman spoke to delegates inside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland about education in the United States. “Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class,” he explained. “Now they’re stalled on the ground floor. They’re like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers.”

Twitter users were seemingly on high alert for the second night of the RNC following Melania’s controversial oration on Monday, July 18. Shortly after Donald Jr., 38, concluded his speech, several social media users pointed out that a portion of the passage appeared to be lifted from a May 2016 essay published by The American Conservative.

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The Daily Show posted a photo on Twitter of the article in question — alongside the Trump scion’s RNC quote — with the allegedly borrowed lines highlighted.

“What should be an elevator to the upper class is stalled on the ground floor,” the essay, which was written by George Mason University law professor F.H. Buckley, reads. “Our schools and universities are like the old Soviet department stores whose mission was to serve the interests of the sales clerks and not the customers.”

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Melania Trump speaks during the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio (left); Michelle Obama speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention August 25, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Luckily, it turns out that Donald Jr. isn’t a suspected plagiarist. Buckley told Vox on Tuesday evening that he worked as “a principal speechwriter for the speech. So it’s not an issue.” The professor later took to Twitter, where he wrote, “Except it wasn’t stealing…”

As previously reported, Melania, 46, seemingly copied an entire paragraph from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech during her RNC address on Monday night. Twitter users immediately went wild tweeting famous historical quotes falsely attributed to the Slovenian native with the hashtag #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes. Prior to Melania’s speech on Monday, she said during an interview for NBC News that she wrote the speech “with [as] little help as possible.”

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