For years, Melania Trump’s online biography stated that she had “obtained a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia.” This was something that she had claimed at least since 2006. However, she never obtained a degree from the University of Ljubljana. The falsehood was repeated on the Republican National Convention’s program in July 2016, despite a profile of Melanie Trump by Julia Ioffe published in April 2016 in GQ which Ioffe said that “Melania decamped to Milan after her first year of college, effectively dropping out.” In response to the lie being exposed, the online biography was taken down in late July 2016.
Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican Convention on July 18, 2016, plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention on August 25, 2008. See the plagiarized sections here. When asked about the plagiarism, Melania Trump replied “I read once over it and that’s all, because I wrote it, and with as little help as possible.” However, the speech was written by Matthew Scully and John McConnell, and then rewritten by Melania Trump, who then asked Meredith McIver, staff writer for The Trump Organization, to assist her. McIver came forward as the person who actually wrote the speech for Melanie Trump. McIver admitted to using “some of the phrasing” from Michelle Obama’s speech, after Melania Trump “read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech” over the phone.
“Weapons of mass destruction, the NSA, and Watergate: many have felt cheated by the lies of the powerful. Yet we all twist the truth to keep people happy and deceive in order to protect. Is lying oddly essential? Should we accept lying as part of personal and public life? Or is there always more beauty in truth?”
Panel discussion at HowTheLightGetsIn at Hay-on-Wye, Wales, UK, May 31, 2016
New York philosopher James Mahon, Absolutely Fabulous star Helen Lederer, and psychiatrist Mark Salter dissect the ethics of deceit here.
Also posted on the blog of the American Philosophical Association on June 23, 2017.