Melania Trump is facing a second bout of plagiarism claims. After announcing her new children-focused campaign, Be Best, on Monday, May 7, the first lady was accused of pulling the text and graphics in the initiative’s promotional booklet from one published under former president Barack Obama’s administration.
Trump’s White House communications director, Stephanie Grisham, responded in a statement released via Twitter on Tuesday, May 8.
“Yesterday, first lady Melania Trump unveiled Be Best, her initiative meant to support children and the many issues they are facing today. After giving a strong speech that was met with a standing ovation and positive feedback, the focus from opposition media has been on an educational booklet, ‘Talking With Kids About Being Online,’ produced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2009,” Grisham began.
“Mrs. Trump agreed to add Be Best branding and distribute the booklet in an effort to use her platform to amplify the positive message within,” the statement continued. “As she said in yesterday’s speech, she is going to use Be Best to promote people and organizations to encourage conversation and replication, and helping the FTC distribute this booklet is just one small example.”
Grisham went on to slam the “baseless accusations” made about the former model and her initiative. “Our office will continue to focus on helping children and I encourage members of the media to attempt to Be Best in their own professions, and focus on some of the children and programs Mrs. Trump highlighted in her remarks yesterday,” the statement concluded.
Trump, 48, said during her speech on Monday that Be Best will focus on three points: children’s well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.
The Slovenia native was previously accused of plagiarizing former first lady Michelle Obama at the 2016 Republication National Convention. Trump’s speech included a paragraph that was nearly identical to a portion of Obama’s address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Trump Organization staff writer Meredith McIver later took responsibility and apologized in a statement for the “confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused.”
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