Melania Trump: Ten facts you didn’t know about Donald’s wife

Former model and future first lady, Melania Trump, accused of plagiarising Michelle Obama after surprise speech at Republican National Convention

A Republican party official has drawn upon the children’s TV show My Little Pony in a bid to defend Melania Trump from accusations she plagiarised her speech at the party’s national convention this week.

Trump left the stage to warm applause on Monday night after addressing the GOP – but the internet was quickly buzzing with claims that parts of her talk had been lifted almost wholesale from Michelle Obama’s speech to the 2008 Democrat National Convention.

In defence, Sean Spicer, the Republican National Convention chief strategist, said the apparent plagiarism was merely a coincidence arising from the shared use of common phrases and sentiments.

“We’re talking about 70 words, three passages,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday, saying similar phrases could also be found in the lyrics of John Legend and Kid Rock songs.

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He went on to say that in My Little Pony, Twilight Sparkle told watching pre-schoolers: “Anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now.” Not so different, he claimed, from Trump’s emphasis on “the strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them”.

But also, problematically, not so different from Obama’s comments about “the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them” in 2008.

Observers spotted several other similarities in the two speeches.

For example, the former model told the GOP: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise.”

While Obama had said: “Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do.”

Spicer’s My Little Pony defence threatens to keep attention focused on the scandal overshadowing the already troubled Republican bid to present Trump’s husband, Donald, as a candidate the party can rally behind.