Donald Trump Jr. Blames Writers for Melania Trump Speech

Screengrab/CBS
Donald Trump Jr.

"Of course [Melania] worked with speechwriters ... Those are the people that did this."

Donald Trump Jr. says speechwriters are to blame for the controversy surrounding Melania Trump's plagiarized speech during the Republican National Convention.

In an interview Tuesday with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell, Trump Jr. said he was "proud" of Melania Trump, adding that he thought "she did excellently."

When asked if Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's campaign chairman and convention manager, should have done a better job overseeing the speech, Trump Jr. disagreed that Manafort was to blame.

"Paul didn't really have anything do with the speech," he said. "Of course [Melania] worked with speechwriters. Having never done this before, you have to work with speechwriters. Those are the people that did this, not Paul."

Trump Jr. added: "I imagine there's people who shouldn't have done that or who should have cleaned it up better."

His comments come after a clip that went viral Monday night where Melania Trump tells Today's Matt Lauer that she wrote her convention speech “with as little help as possible.” The interview took place earlier on Monday before Melania and Donald Trump hit the first day of the convention in Cleveland.

After headlining the RNC's opening night, Melania Trump's speech was quickly called out for closely mirroring a portion of Michelle Obama's address at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

The discovery sparked instant backlash on social media and a late-night statement from Trump's camp.

Tuesday saw much of the convention coverage surrounded by the controversy.

Manafort told CBS This Morning that there are "a couple of phrases" that share similarities, while Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said the controversy turns the campaign into "amateur hour."

"There's a reason Paul's in the position that he is today and Corey's not," Trump Jr. told CBS News. "Listen, I understand: He's not here anymore, you want to try to maintain relevance and be on TV and try to do these things. At this point, that's not a service to the campaign."

The interview with Trump Jr., who was one of the speakers during Day 2 of the Republican National Convention, aired Tuesday night. Watch a clip below.

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