Trump's top adviser says Clinton was 'threatened' by Melania's speech and tried to 'destroy' her

Republican National Convention: Day OneWin McNamee/Getty ImagesDonald Trump gives a thumbs up as he introduces his wife Melania on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

CLEVELAND — Donald Trump’s top campaign strategist blamed the plagiarism accusations against Melania Trump on the Hillary Clinton campaign, saying it’s another example of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee trying to “destroy” another female because she fel “threatened.”

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told reporters at a press briefing Tuesday morning that the Clinton campaign was the first to point out similarities between Melania’s speech and the 2008 Democratic National Convention speech of Michelle Obama.

“There’s a political tint to this whole issue,” Manafort said. “[W]e’ve noted that the Clinton camp was the first to get it out there trying to say there was something untoward about the speech Melania Trump gave. It’s just another example, as far as we’re concerned, that when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person.”

Since the Clinton campaign has not officially commented on Melania’s speech, Manafort seems to be implying that her campaign leaked the plagiarism accusations.

The similarities between the two speeches first gained traction through a tweet from Jarrett Hill, who describes himself on Twitter as a journalist and an interior designer.

Earlier Monday morning, Manafort defended the speech-writing process, which he described as a “collaboration” between Melania and the campaign, and said that he “can’t remember what Obama said eight years ago.”

During the press briefing, he said the campaign isn’t focusing much on the accusations.

“It’s politics,” Manafort said. “We recognise it and we’re just going to move on.”

Other top campaign officials and surrogates have also shrugged off the controversy.

Maxwell Tani contributed to this report.

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