Speechwriters are to blame for the cribbing discovered in Melania Trump’s keynote speech at the RNC last night, not Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. tells CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell.
“Those people shouldn’t have done it, or they should have cleaned it up better, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about,” Donald Jr. told O’Donnell on the floor of the RNC convention in Cleveland.
Until this moment, Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort had stoutly denied any plagiarism had occurred in the speech Melania Trump delivered last night, portions of which were virtually identical to a speech First Lady Michelle Obama had delivered at the DNC in 2008.
RNC’s chief strategist jumped on the stout denial train too, using the My Little Pony defense. Seriously:
This is why My Little Pony has been trending today.
Asked if Manafort should have done a better job overseeing Monday’s important speech – the first major address to the country by Donald Trump’s wife and potential next First Lady on the opening night of the RNC, Donald Jr. shot back, “Paul didn’t really have anything to do with the speech.” Which, if accurate, is telling.
“Having never done this before, you have to work with speechwriters,” Donald Trump Jr. said of Melania Trump. “Those are the people that did this, not Paul,” he said in an interview, portions of which will air on CBS’s evening newscast tonight and more on CBS’s morning show.
Asked to comment on remarks about the speech fracas that were made this morning by Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowsk, Trump Jr. scoffed, “There’s a reason that Paul is in the position that he is today and Corey’s not.” Lewandowski said this morning he thought someone should be held accountable for the campaign embarrassment over the speech, in answer to questions directed to him by CNN anchors John Berman and Kate Bolduan. After being ousted from his Trump campaign job, Lewandowski was hired by CNN as a paid contributor, which means he will take and answer questions about the election cycle. So, when asked if Manafort should step down, Lewandowski said Manafort should determine who is responsible and, if it’s him, he should resign. According to reports last month when Donald Trump dumped Lewandowski, Trump’s adult children, including Donald Trump, Jr., played a big role in that ouster, and his replacement with Manafort.