Melania Trump: The Story Behind the Speech She Didn’t Deliver

A draft prepared by two Republican speechwriters was not used.

July 19, 2016, 6:21 PM

— -- Six weeks ago, two of the most respected speechwriters in Republican politics were asked to write a convention address for Melania Trump ahead of her big moment in the spotlight in Cleveland.

The speech she gave Monday night -- which included passages bearing striking resemblance to Michelle Obama's 2008 convention address and raised questions of plagiarism -- was not it.

An early version of the speech crafted by GOP speechwriters Matthew Scully and John McConnell was apparently disregarded and shelved by the Trump campaign.

Scully and McConnell have previously helped craft some of the most consequential political speeches in the modern era, including those delivered by former President George W. Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Six weeks ago, they were approached by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and campaign adviser, to write a convention speech for Melania Trump. The Slovenian-born former model has prominently appeared at her husband's side throughout the 2016 campaign, but has spoken infrequently on the trail.

The pair wrote a speech and submitted a draft to Trump's campaign over a month ago.

According to a knowledgeable source, Kushner indicated his approval of the speech draft shortly after it was submitted, but the speechwriters never heard from him again about it.

The speech delivered by Melania Trump last night included almost nothing of the draft written by Scully and McConnell.

In an interview with NBC News aboard Trump's plane Monday evening ahead of her speech, Melania Trump said she wrote her speech with "as little help as possible."

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