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Story highlights

The Trump campaign is facing allegations that portions of Melania Trump's RNC speech were plagiarized.

Parts of the speech appear to mirror a speech given by Michelle Obama at the DNC in 2008.

(CNN) —  

Melania Trump stepped onto center stage Monday for the highest-profile speech of her life, but the moment was quickly overshadowed by controversy after it emerged that portions of the speech were plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention.

Melania Trump initially appeared to deliver the speech her husband needed to portray him in a softer light. She offered testimony about the character of her husband, Donald Trump, and said he would never let America down.

The former fashion model, who rarely takes a leading role on the campaign trail, was the star attraction on the first night of the Republican National Convention.

“With all of my heart, I know that he will make a great and lasting difference,” she said. “He will never give up and he will never, never let you down.”

She went on: “Donald is and always has been an amazing leader. Now he will go to work for you.”

Melania, 46, portrayed her husband as tough but kind and loyal. In an apparent attempt to soften his image following his calls for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration and his tough rhetoric on undocumented migrants, Melania said he would be a president for everyone, including Jews, Christians and Hispanics.

She was affectionate and spoke touchingly about how she fell in love with Trump. And she ruefully warned that the run-up to November’s election could bumpy.

“The race will be hard, tough fought all the way to November,” she said. “There will be good times and hard times and unexpected turns. It would not be a Trump contest without excitement and drama.”

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