Politics January 31, 2017
Another day, another plagiarism scandal. So it goes for some of the women in President Trump’s team.
Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos appears to have lifted quotes from other sources without attribution and used them in written answers sent to the Senate committee assigned to approve her nomination.
She had only been asked to provide written answers in the first place as some Democrats requested further proof of her suitability for the position after being unsatisfied with her answers when questioned verbally at her confirmation hearing.
This is not the first time the Trump team has found itself in such a situation.
Just four days before the inauguration, Monica Crowley bowed out of her position as the Senior Director of Strategic Communications following a plagiarism scandal. Her decision came after a CNN report found more than 50 examples of plagiarism in the conservative media commentator’s 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened.”
Prior to that was the infamous speech Melania Trump gave at the Republican National Convention featuring lines previously spoken by Michelle Obama.
But it’s not just the Republicans who have been so accused. Former Vice President Joe Biden saw his 1988 Presidential campaign derailed after mimicking a speech that British politician Neil Kinnock had given just four months earlier.
Kinnock had said, “Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? [Pointing to his wife in the audience:] Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick?”
Biden said, “Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? [Pointing to his wife in the audience:] Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I’m the first Biden in a thousand generations to graduate?”
That’s the trouble with borrowing someone else’s words. They can always come back to bite you.
Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos is finding that out after standing accused of at least two instances of lifting quotes from somewhere else – in one of the cases from the head of President Obama’s Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.
Patty Murray, the senior Democrat fighting her nomination, is reviewing the written answers in full and said, “Upon initial review, many of the responses look copied and pasted from previous statements, or are simple reiterations of the law and not true responses at all.”
Her nomination now moves to a full Senate vote.
Trump education adviser Rob Goad dismissed the plagiarism claims as a desperate attempt to discredit the nominee and called the allegations “character assassination.”
Send this to a friend