An op-ed penned this month by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and published online appears to be blatantly plagiarized from an article written days earlier under former rival Ben Carson’s name, The Daily Caller has determined.
The similar op-eds were written on the topic of America’s territories and commonwealths.
Both pieces appear under the by-lines of the candidates. Carson’s piece, published Feb. 26, was published in the Marianas Variety in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Trump’s op-ed — published in the Pacific Daily News in Guam, part of the USA Today Network — was published 12 days later on March 9.
In some cases, full sentences and phrases — word-for-word — are lifted from Carson’s. In others, some words and phrases are changed and added.
Take the opening lines of both pieces as an example.
Carson’s piece begins: “MANY Americans do not appreciate the patriotism exhibited by our brothers and sisters in the Territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”
Here’s how Trump’s piece beings (with the exact wording from Carson’s piece bolded): “Throughout the history of our nation, the patriotism exhibited by our brothers and sisters in the Territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands has often gone unacknowledged.”
At another point, Trump’s op-ed uses, word-for-word, two identical sentences from Carson’s article: “Medical care in the American territories and commonwealths has historically lagged far behind the continental states, and Obamacare has only made the situation worse. Good health is an essential part of a thriving society and economy, and citizens of the territories and commonwealths deserve policies that work.”
Carson dropped out of the Republican race for president after a disappointing finish in the March 1 SEC primary. Ahead of Florida’s primary, the former neurosurgeon endorsed Trump last week.
Reached by phone, Carson adviser Armstrong Williams declined to comment other than to reference some of Carson’s old campaign staffers and say: “There’s no question they’re working for Mr. Trump now.”
The Saipan Tribune, a local news outlet in the Northern Mariana Islands, reported that a local Republican named Jason Osborne, who worked for Carson before joining Trump’s team, was involved in crafting the op-ed.
“Plagiarizing ideas, when you accept those ideas, isn’t plagiarism, it’s just flattery,” Osborne told the outlet.
The Daily Caller has reached out to Trump’s campaign.
See the similarities below:
Vince Coglianese contributed to this report.