Melania in fresh plagiarism row
MELANIA Trump has been caught up in a fresh plagiarism row after observers noticed her "Be Best" campaign booklet was almost identical to one created by the Obama administration.
The First Lady's yesterday launched an initiative to support children over three main areas - wellbeing, social media and opioid abuse.
But the one pamphlet promoted on the campaign's web page is practically the same as one published during the Obama years, only with a new title and a foreword by Mrs Trump.
The booklet's title has been updated from "NET CETERA: Chatting with Kids About Being Online" to "Talking with Kids about Being Online", but the graphics and information are virtually unchanged, bar a few minor updates.
After Twitter users pointed out the gaffe, the wording on the web page was changed from "a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission" to "a Federal Trade Commission booklet, promoted by First Lady Melania Trump."
Mrs Trump, who pledged to fight online bullying in the final days of the 2016 presidential election, was previously accused of plagiarising one of Michelle Obama's speeches for an address to the Republican National Convention during the presidential campaign.
The 48-year-old launched her campaign in the White House Rose Garden yesterday, 16 months into Donald Trump's presidency and after months of embarrassing headlines over his alleged affairs.
She was mocked over the clunky slogan and vague promises to help children - before things went from bad to worse.
NBC's Michael Cappetta tweeted that the title of the initiative echoed Michelle Obama's advice to men at the United States of Women summit in 2016, when she encouraged them to "be better" in the fight for women's empowerment.
Retired congressman John Dingell then tweeted, "Plaigarize [sic] Better", linking to a tweet that showed the First Lady's campaign booklet reused pages from a pamphlet the Obamas published in 2014.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday deflected questions over whether it was appropriate for Mrs Trump to be advocating against cyberbullying given her husband's history of insulting people online.
"The idea that you are trying to blame cyberbullying on the President is ridiculous," Ms Sanders told reporters ahead of the campaign launch.
Mr Trump praised his wife effusively after her speech, embracing her and kissing her cheeks five times in a rare public display of affection, taking her hand to walk back to the West Wing.
"America is truly blessed to have a first lady who is so devoted to our country and to our children," Mr Trump said, signing a declaration that Monday was "Be Best" day.
- With wires