Donald Trump appeared to have an unlikely inspiration for a key line in his State of the Union speech — his much-hated former rival, Hillary Clinton.
In his first State of the Union speech to Americans, Trump spoke about a “New American Moment,” taking a positive tone amid what has been a presidency filled with feuding and controversy.
“This is our New American Moment,” Trump said in an early transcript released by the White House. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.”
If the phrase seemed familiar, that is because Hillary Clinton often used it in her own speeches when making reference to American foreign policy. As NBC News reported, Clinton frequently referred to a “New American Moment” in a series of speeches given in 2009 and 2010.
The strange wording drew attention even before Trump delivered his speech, especially given Trump’s acrimonious relationship with Clinton. Donald Trump has frequently taken aim at his former political rival, calling on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton and spreading conspiracy theories about Clinton’s involvement with the dossier that alleged Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.
It was not immediately clear if Donald Trump intentionally plagiarized Hillary Clinton’s signature line, or whether it was inserted as either a dig at Clinton or a potential olive branch extended to her.
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) January 31, 2018
This is not the first time that a member of the Trump family has been accused of plagiarizing a key part of a speech from a famous Democrat. At the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016, a key portion of Melania Trump’s speech was lifted directly from a previous speech given by Michelle Obama, USA Today noted.
The plagiarized portion came from Michelle Obama recalling the lessons her parents had imparted on her about the value of hard work. The side-by-side portions can be seen in the video below.
Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama tonight, and here's the video to prove it: pic.twitter.com/gCDeJL04zY
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) July 19, 2016
Donald Trump has already taken heat for appearing to plagiarize the Hillary Clinton line in his State of the Union speech. As USA Today noted, some former Obama aides have hit Trump for the line, including former speechwriter Cody Keenan who claimed that Trump is an expert at “slapping his name on someone else’s work and calling it a big, beautiful success.”