Reports: Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized huge sections of her Ph.D thesis

CrowleyDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesMonica Crowley, recently chosen as a deputy national security advisor in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, departs Trump Tower, December 15, 2016 in New York City.

Monica Crowley, President-elect Trump’s pick for senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, appears to have plagiarized numerous sections of her Ph.D. thesis, according to investigations by CNN and Politico.

Politico, in a report published Monday, identified more than a dozen instances of plagiarism in Crowley’s Columbia University thesis, “Clearer Than Truth: The Evolution of American Policy Toward the People’s Republic of China Under Truman and Nixon.”

On Thursday, CNN’s KFile followed up on Politico’s report, revealing 40 additional instances of plagiarism in Crowley’s thesis, which was submitted in 2000. Her dissertation apparently lifted from scholarly works, the Associated Press, and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

This is what it says on page 168 of Crowley’s thesis, which can be accessed via the academic database ProQuest:

Mueller found a “rally in support at the beginning of the war and high levels of public support into 1966. By mid-1966, however, support had declined in the wake of such events as infighting among the South Vietnamese and the emergence of vocal criticism of the war during the Fulbright hearings in early 1966. By this time, the public had also come to see that the war would not be over quickly but was instead likely to be a “long, bloody affair.”

The material was copied verbatim from Eric V. Larson’s “Casualties and Consensus: The Historical Role of Casualties in Domestic Support for U.S. Military Operations,” according to CNN:

Mueller found a “rally” in support at the beginning of the war and high levels of public support into 1966. By mid-1966, however, support had declined in the wake of such events as infighting among the South Vietnamese and the emergence of vocal criticism of the war during the Fulbright hearings in early 1966. By this time, the public had also come to see that the war would not be over quickly but was instead likely to be “a long, bloody affair.”

In another example, Crowley copied wording from “The Kissinger Transcripts: The Top Secret Talks With Beijing and Moscow,” published in 1998. Here’s what it says in Crowley’s dissertation:

A crucial part of the U.S.-China-Vietnam equation was the understanding reached on Taiwan. In the Shanghai Communique, the United States made no specific public concessions on when or if it would terminate diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, but it did “acknowledge” Beijing’s position that there is “but one China” and that “Taiwan is part of China.”

Here’s what it says in “The Kissinger Transcripts”:

The United States made no specific public concessions on when or whether it would break diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, but it did “acknowledge” Beijing’s position that there is “but one China” and that “Taiwan is part of China.”

CrowleyDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesU.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) hugs Monica Crowley, recently chosen as a deputy national security adviser in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, as Republican political strategist Kellyanne Conway looks on in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 15, 2016 in New York City.

Another passage in Crowley’s thesis appears to have been copied almost verbatim from Helen Milner’s 1992 book, “
International Theories of Cooperation Among Nations: Strengths and Weaknesses”:

First, if the goal is to achieve a balanced agreement (in which worrying about cheating is already a given), a larger number of players may actually be better, since it offers greater opportunities for exchanges and side payments. Grieco argues that “the state will prefer more partners, for larger numbers would enhance the likelihood that relative gains advantaging….better-positioned partners could be offset by more favourable sharings arising from interactions with weaker partners.”

Here is the original text from Milner’s book, in which Milner attributed the quoted text to its source:

First, if one is concerned about more than just cheating, such as whether a balanced agreement can be struck, a larger number of players may be better, since it provides more opportunities for exchanges and side-payments. Grieco argues that “the state will prefer more partners, for larger numbers would enhance the likelihood that relative gains advantaging . . . better-positioned partners could be offset by more favourable sharings arising from interactions with weaker partners.” (p. 228)

On page 242 of her thesis, Crowley seems to have lifted almost three paragraphs directly from a 1999 Associated Press article. Here is what it says in Crowley’s work:

Briefing Chou on the Soviets on November 10, 1973 in the Great Hall of the People, Kissinger repeated that it was in the interests of the United States to prevent a Soviet nuclear attack on China. “They want us to accept the desirability of destroying China’s nuclear capability,” Kissinger said.

Instead, he offered China secret military cooperation with the United States, including “ideas on how to lessen the vulnerability of your forces and how to increase the warning time” before a Soviet attack.

Here’s what the AP article says, according to CNN’s web archive:

Briefing Chou on the Soviets on November 10, 1973, in the Great Hall of the People, Kissinger said it was in the interests of the United States to prevent a Soviet nuclear attack on China. “They want us to accept the desirability of destroying China’s nuclear capability,” Kissinger said, according to a transcript of the conversation.

Instead, he offered China secret military cooperation with the United States, including “ideas on how to lessen the vulnerability of your forces and how to increase the warning time” before a Soviet attack.

Crowley has not responded to requests for comment about the newest investigations into her thesis. She
came under fire earlier this week after CNN’s KFile revealed she had apparently plagiarized at least 50 sections of her 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened?”

HarperCollins subsequently pulled Crowley’s book from circulation and halted its sales until she revised and appropriately sourced its material.

The Trump team said that it was standing by Crowley, who will not have to be confirmed by the Senate to assume her role in the Trump administration.

“Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country,” Trump’s team said in a statement.

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