Donald Trump Jr. Says Apology to Michelle Obama Not Necessary for Speech Likenesses

He told David Muir he did not think speechwriters should be involved anymore.

July 19, 2016, 7:35 PM

— -- In an interview today with "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir, Donald Trump Jr. said first lady Michelle Obama was not owed an apology for similarities between her 2008 Democratic National Convention speech and the one that Melania Trump delivered Monday night.

"I don't know that Michelle Obama ... or whoever is involved in this ... I don't think so," Donald Trump Jr. said. "I don't think this is something of that magnitude. I mean, I think, I understand from a media perspective trying to create a much bigger story out of something than it is, but I really don't think so ... I don't at all."

On Monday night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Melania Trump sparked accusations of plagiarism when she gave a speech that many said sounded very much like Obama's speech eight years ago.

This morning Donald Trump's campaign said in a statement addressing the controversy, "Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking."

Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, today denied that Melania Trump lifted the speech from the first lady's, calling such an act "crazy."

When Muir asked whether Donald Trump Jr. was bothered by the similarities in the two speeches, he said: "I don't think there was anything in there that was that novel in terms of those particular lines. ... I saw some pretty common words in there. Honestly, you know, there was no novel thought in that. ... What I was more concerned about and what I was more proud of her about, was she was able to get on that stage, having never done this before. ... That she was able to do that for my father is amazing."

He also denied that Melania Trump had written the speech herself despite her saying that she had during a "Today Show" interview.

"No, what she said was that she wrote as much as she possibly could, you know, and again, for a speech of this magnitude, to say you're not going to have speechwriters, you know, I have a hard time doing that and I speak daily, right? It's very different," said Donald Trump Jr., who is expected to speak at tonight's convention.

Donald Trump Jr. said he did not know who'd written Melania Trump's speech or who in the campaign knew.

When asked whether someone in the campaign should be fired, he said, "I don't know if it has anything to do with people in campaigns. I mean, again, obviously a speech of that size and magnitude, you're going to work with speechwriters. I don't know that they should be, you know, involved going forward, but it has nothing to do with a poll or, you know, the other nonsense that I'm hearing around there for people trying to be relevant."

He said that while he was sure his father was "not thrilled" with the allegations surrounding Melania Trump, "we're going to move on."

Christine Romo contributed to this story.

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