Did Trump plagiarise from “fake news” network CNN and other media networks on defunct Trump University blog?
Since taking office in January, the Trump administration has repeatedly accused US cable network CNN of reporting “fake news.”
However, it appears that in 2008 Trump plagiarised articles originally published to the CNN website on his now-defunct Trump University blog, a weekly column in which Trump gave advice to budding entrepreneurs.
For instance, in February 2008 Trump copied from an article published to CNN the previous month titled – somewhat ironically – “Honestly, All of Us Are Liars” by health and lifestyle reporter Jocelyn Voo.
On the Trump University blog, Trump wrote: “Admit it. At some point it your life, you’ve lied. Maybe you tell white lies on a daily basis. Maybe you tell some all-out doozies. Whatever the case, don’t worry about it too much. You’re normal.”
On the CNN news website the previous month, Voo had written this strikingly similar paragraph: “Admit it: At some point, you’ve lied. Maybe it was the time you told your aunt that her hand-knit holiday sweater was ‘exactly what you wanted.’ Or when you explained to human resources that you’d missed the big company meeting because your grandmother died … again. Take heart, though; you’re not Machiavellian. You’re just normal.”
Without attribution, Trump also copied elements from another article by Voo titled “Young Women Choosing Careers Over Love” – and in two later blog entries¹ copied from articles originally published to Reuters.²
In November, Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle a number of lawsuits brought by former Trump University students who alleged they were defrauded out of thousands of dollars in tuition fees.
On that note, here’s a rather fitting quote from Trump’s old blog:
…I think it’s nice to say, “Don’t lie,” but it’s just not realistic. We do it to save other people’s feelings. We do it to protect ourselves. We do it to get what we want.
And sometimes it works.