Monday night's headline speech at the Republican National Convention by Donald Trump’s wife was supposed to exhibit the presumptive Republican nominee’s compassionate, fatherly side. Instead, it’s been a distraction, including for the Illinois delegation.
The political strategist who helped Trump take Illinois’ primary stopped by the morning state delegation breakfast, but reporters didn’t want to talk to him how Trump could win the general election.
Instead, ex Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was peppered with question, after question, about evidence that some of Melania Trump’s convention speech copied one First Lady Michelle Obama gave in ‘08.
Lewandowski says staff should be held accountable, if they made a mistake.
"I think Mrs. Trump is a very smart, articulate woman. Her thoughts are her own thoughts. If it was a mistake, it was at the staff level and staff should be held accountable," Lewandowski said.
"She was the one that said she wrote the speech," one reporter pressed.
"If Hillary Clinton said the same thing you would light her up," said another.
"Look, again, what I said was, I think Melania Trump is an extremely smart and articulate woman. And the outline of that speech was her own. And she put those thoughts together so she could talk about her husband," Lewandowski said.
Illinois GOP Congressman Peter Roskam says he’d have thought such a high profile speech would have been more thoroughly vetted. But no matter.
“I think it’s going to be a six-hour story, and that we’re going to be talking about something entirely different," he said. "Are you going to get an apology from anyone whose name rhymes with Trump? Not a chance, I don't think."
Trump’s current campaign manager Paul Manafort says there was no speech “cribbing," and in network television interviews called the plagiarism allegations “absurd.”