Sarah Hurwitz, Michelle Obama’s former speechwriter, revealed that she had been informed of the current FLOTUS’ plagiarism of work intended for Ms Obama. The alleged ripping-off came in a 2016 speech in which Melania addressed the Republican National Convention.
The phrases used in the speech were almost identical to the words used by Ms Hurwitz when she helped Michelle write her presentation to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
When Ms Hurwitz was notified to the similarity bordering on repetition, she said her first reaction was: “Oh. God.”
She said: “Making that kind of mistake is every speechwriter’s worst nightmare.”The revelation came after Meredith McIver, a Trump speechwriter, explained that in a phone call, Melania had simply read “passages from Mrs Obama’s speech as examples” of inspiration for her own address.
Melania copied Michelle’s 2008 speech
Melania made the speech in 2016
She said: “I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech.
“I did not check Mrs Obama’s speeches.
“This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs Obama.”
Mr Hurwitz reflects on what could easily have gone south.
Sarah Hurwitz is a veteran speechwriter
She said: “I just felt this moment of gratitude that we had the most amazing fact-checkers who scrubbed every line of every speech.
“It was so important to the Obamas to always be accurate and always tell the truth to the American people.
“It was this incredible concern for accuracy and honesty and truth that we lived by every day.”
The news comes as Ms Hurwitz’s new book, ‘Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality And a Deeper Connection to Life—in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There)’ came out earlier this month.
The book, as made clear in the title, surrounds Judaism and its apparent benefits for a spiritually healthy life.
Writing about religion came as a surprise to former White House workers, with many thinking Ms Hurwitz would opt to tell the secrets of what went on in the White House.
This was especially true since dozens of her co-workers had already signed book contracts to tell all about their tenures in the West Wing.
Talking to People, Ms Hurwitz revealed her colleagues’ reaction when she told them about the content of her book.
Melania is Trump’s third wife
She said: “They were like, ‘Wow. Okay. Not what I thought you’d be doing.’”
The book traces its origins to 2014 when Hurwitz, then the chief White House speechwriter to Michelle and veteran team member of the Obama administration, went through a horrific breakup.
She said: “I would get home at night and I had all this time on my hands.
“When I got an email about this ‘Intro to Judaism’ class at the Jewish community center, I was like, ‘Okay, this will fill some time, get me out of the apartment, maybe meet some people, learn about my heritage.’”
The 42-year-old had originally abandoned any thought of pursuing her path, ditching the religion after her bat mitzvah in the seventh grade.
However, on re-entering the synagogue and exploring Judaistic principles, she said she was “utterly floored” by the ““deep moral wisdom … and the whole sensibility of Judaism”.
Recounting her journey, she said: “I spent the last two years of the Obama White House, in my spare time, reading books, taking more classes, going on silent Jewish meditation retreats, which are a thing, and the more I learned, the more I just got like, ‘I really want to share what I’m learning with people.’”