Did Trump Borrow From Hillary Clinton in His State of the Union Speech?

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2018. Win McNamee/Reuters

During President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech Tuesday, one phrase stood out for its familiarity—familiar because they had heard Trump's 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton use it years before.

Speaking about the benefits of Republican tax cuts and the impact on American businesses, Trump heralded "our new American moment" in his address to the joint sessions of Congress.

"There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream," Trump said, adding that "if you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything."

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2018. Win McNamee/Reuters

The "new American moment" phrase, however, stuck out for Tommy Vietor, President Barack Obama's national security spokesman and one of the hosts of the left-leaning Pod Save America podcast.

"I thought Trump's 'New American Moment' SOTU line sounded familiar," Vietor wrote on Twitter. "Sure enough, here it is in a 2010 speech by @HillaryClinton."

Vietor dug up a speech that Clinton gave while secretary of state at Washington's Council on Foreign Relations, during which she spoke about how the complexities "of today's world have yielded a new American moment, a moment when our global leadership is essential."

Laying out her vision for American foreign policy under Obama, Clinton said that America's openness, innovation and values were needed in the world, and that the U.S. should take a leadership role.

Read more: Hillary Clinton explains why she didn't fire adviser Burns Strider—and says she regrets the decision

"This is a moment that must be seized through hard work and bold decisions, to lay the foundations for lasting American leadership for decades to come," she said.

Clinton's approach couldn't sound more different from Trump's America First policies. Yet the phrase doesn't amount to plagiarism, noted McKay Coppins, a staff writer at The Atlantic, as it's hardly original "to come up with a line as bland and benign."

Obama's former speechwriter Cody Keenan, however, was incensed. "He's always been good at slapping his name on someone else's work and calling it a big, beautiful success," Keenan wrote on Twitter about Trump's use of the "new American moment line."

Yet any controversy around Trump's use of the phrase is not close to what arose when Melania Trump, speaking at the Republican National Convention during the 2016 primaries, appeared to echo lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech to the Democratic convention.

The idea that Trump copied Obama was "absurd" Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told CNN at the time. "There's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech," he said, pointing out she was just using "common words."

Did Trump Borrow From Hillary Clinton in His State of the Union Speech? | U.S.