Donald Trump, USA REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION.jpg
Donald Trump introduces his wife Melania during the second session on the first day of the 2016 Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 18 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Donald Trump's wife Melania appeared to take liberal inspiration from a 2008 speech by first lady Michelle Obama for her own address to the US Republican convention.

The move drew fire from critics, as the campaign of her husband, the presumptive US Republican Party presidential nominee, leapt to her defence early Tuesday.

US media caught on after it became apparent the speech by Melania Trump shared key phrases with a speech by Obama at the 2008 Democratic Party national convention, when current President Barack Obama was officially nominated as the party's candidate.

Trump's speech included the line: "From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your work is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect."

Political blog Talking Points Memo pointed out that this was very close to a part of Obama's speech eight years earlier.

"And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them."

The Trump campaign were quick to defend Melania Trump.

"In writing her beautiful speech, Melania's team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success," read a statement by communications advisor Jason Miller on the campaign website.

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