On Monday, Melania Trump rolled out her new “Be Best” program, which is aimed at increasing the safety of children while using the internet. Unfortunately for Melania Trump, she has been accused of plagiarizing similar materials created during the Obama Administration back in Jan. of 2014. Melania Trump responded by claiming her “Be Best pamphlet is not another Obama rip-off!!!,” according to a report from TMZ.
If you look at the front of the original flyer and compare it side by side with the front of the new flyer, the similarities reportedly seem apparent. At first glance, anyone may think Melania Trump had plagiarized the Obama administration’s initiative. The “Net Cetera Chatting with Kids About Being Online” features the same exact layout, images, and style as the new Melania Trump “Talking with Kids About Being Online” pamphlet. When one opens up the new Melania Trump “Be Best” pamphlet, the same text is inside that was featured in the original Obama administration pamphlet. Without knowing the full story it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that Melania Trump committed plagiarism.
“Mrs. Trump agreed to add Be Best branding and distribute the booklet in an effort to use her platform to amplify the positive message within,” claimed Melania’s office, per the TMZ report. The office also claims that the new pamphlet was reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission before being published. The problem, however, is that when the new “Be Best” Melania Trump pamphlet was first announced, the White House claimed it was written “by First Lady Melania Trump.” The White House website has been updated since then to read that the new pamphlet is “a Federal Trade Commission booklet, promoted by First Lady Melania Trump.”
If first lady Melania Trump’s office hadn’t changed the text on the front and had simply redistributed the pamphlet, then possibly nobody would be claiming that Melania Trump plagiarized the Obama Administration. It’s because the first lady’s Office changed that small text and the White House passed it off as though the whole pamphlet was written “by First Lady Melania Trump” that people are outraged about Melania Trump’s alleged plagiarism. This is a shining example how an action done with the best intentions has come back to haunt the Trump administration due to the way it was handled. Possibly trying to pass off the entire program as something created by Melania Trump, when in fact it was likely borne from the Obama administration, is why the public sees this as another instance of Melania Trump plagiarizing even though when in fact she did not.