UPDATE: May 8 ― The Office of the First Lady released a statement on Tuesday explaining that Melania Trump’s “Talking With Kids About Being Online” booklet was re-branded from the former Trade Commission booklet called “Chatting With Kids About Being Online.” The first lady added Be Best branding “in an effort to use her platform to amplify the positive message within.”
The White House altered language linking to the booklet to clarify that the booklet is “promoted” by the first lady rather than authored by her.
The booklet, “Talking With Kids About Being Online,” is almost an exact replica of an Obama administration brochure ― specifically, a 2014 Federal Trade Commission booklet called “Chatting With Kids About Being Online,” the Twitter account The Rude Pundit noted.
Both booklets include nearly identical language on cyberbullying, hackers and oversharing online.
Trump’s version of the booklet had a few minor variations, including updated artwork and information on technology. The most notable difference between the two pamphlets is that the one released Monday opens with a letter from the first lady about the lessons inside the booklet and ends with information on Be Best.
Otherwise, though, the two guidebooks on cyberbullying share nearly the exact same content.
Some observers have hailed Be Best as an effort by Melania Trump to forge her own path in the White House, separate from her husband, President Donald Trump, and his policies. The project is designed “to educate children about the many issues they are facing today,” she told reporters at the unveiling in the Rose Garden on Monday.
The current first lady previously relied on text from the Obamas in her 2016 address to the Republican National Convention, where she repeated several lines from a speech Michelle Obama gave in 2008.
People on social media are calling the pamphlets another example of Trump “plagiarizing” the Obamas and have accused her of being lazy. Other users have suggested that repurposing an old pamphlet indicates that she doesn’t truly care about the Be Best program.
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
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