Monica Crowley, Trump’s Nominee For A Top National Security Spot, Appears To Be A Serial Plagiarist

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Donald Trump’s recent slew of appointments includes Monica Crowley — the conservative commentator who once agreed with Bill O’Reilly that institutional racism no longer exists — in a top national security position. All appointees are generally subjected to media digging, but Crowley’s brand of dirt is looking pretty mucky. This weekend saw CNN’s KFile (the work of Andrew Kaczynski) unearth an alarmingly massive trove of plagiarized excerpts within her 2012 book, What The (Bleep) Just Happened.

Kaczynski located passages that were actually written by Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, several Wall Street Journal journalists, the BBC, the Associated Press, and a podiatrist. Crowley also apparently plagiarized Wikipedia and Investopedia and a ton of other original sources, most of which were rather blatant examples, but the Trump transition team chose to sick with her:

“Monica’s exceptional insight and thoughtful work on how to turn this country around is exactly why she will be serving in the Administration. HarperCollins — one of the largest and most respected publishers in the world — published her book which has become a national best-seller. Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country.”

So, Team Trump’s attitude was that it was only one book may have been entirely lifted from a cornucopia of other people’s work. However, Politico dove even further to analyze Crowley’s Columbia University Ph.D. dissertation and found several instances of plagiarism, both intentional and unintentional, that were taken from books and other scholarly literature:

Parts of Crowley’s dissertation appear to violate Columbia’s definition of “Unintentional Plagiarism” for “failure to ‘quote’ or block quote author’s exact words, even if documented” or “failure to paraphrase in your own words, even if documented.” In other cases, her writing appears to violate types I and II of Columbia’s definition of “Intentional Plagiarism,” which are, respectively, “direct copy and paste” and “small modification by word switch,” “without quotation or reference to the source.”

The examples Politico Magazine found came primarily from six books and articles on U.S. foreign policy, particularly from Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis’ 1982 book Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War and Princeton World Politics professor Thomas Christensen’s 1996 book Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947-1958. Both Gaddis and Christensen declined to comment.

Also refraining from comment is Columbia University itself along with Crowley’s thesis adviser. Even odder, Crowley scored interviews with both Henry Kissinger and Winston Lord for her dissertation, and she still managed to pack in a wealth of other text lifted from other authors. Clearly, she thought she could get away with the act, and until now, she has. However, there’s still not much consequence to be had, considering that the Trump team won’t retract her appointment, and Crowley won’t need to be confirmed by the Senate to secure her White House gig.

You can see all of the plagiarized excerpts from Crowley’s dissertation here.

UPDATE #1 – 12:03 pm: The KFile’s Andrew Kaczynski tweets that HarperCollins will pull Crowley’s book from shelves.

(Via Politico & CNN)