The publisher of a book by Hillary Clinton’s longtime pastor is discontinuing sales of the book and destroying remaining copies, saying that it found examples of plagiarism beyond those reported by CNN last month.
“Strong for a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotions of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” is based on emails that the Rev. Bill Shillady, a United Methodist minister, wrote to Clinton from April 2015 through December of last year. Shillady described his emails as a way to minister to a candidate in perpetual motion.
But just days before the book hit stores on August 14, CNN reported that Shillady had copied content from another pastor without attribution in at least one of the devotionals he sent to Clinton. CNN’s report triggered an “extensive review” of the book, said the Rev. Brian Milford, the president and publisher of The United Methodist Publishing House, which owns Abingdon Press, the book’s publisher.
Abingdon Press was “alarmed to discover other content unattributed by the author,” Milford continued in a statement.
“Abingdon Press has zero tolerance for plagiarism. Consequently, we have discontinued sales, will remove existing copies from all sales outlets, and will have them destroyed along with our existing inventory.” Milford said the publisher is contacting all writers and contributors involved.
“I deeply regret my actions,” Shillady said Tuesday. “I was wrong and there is no excuse for it. I apologize to those whose work I mistakenly did not attribute. I apologize to those I have disappointed, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, Abingdon Press, and all the writers and others who have helped me publish and promote this book. I ask for everyone’s forgiveness.”
Clinton appears on the cover of “Strong for a Moment Like This,” and wrote a foreword for the book praising Shillady and his writings. She is scheduled to appear at an event this Thursday in New York promoting the book. A spokesman for Clinton did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The pastor and politician formed a spiritual bond after meeting in New York in 2002. Shillady co-officiated at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in 2010, presided over Clinton’s mother’s memorial service and blessed her grandchildren. Clinton is a lifelong Methodist.
In an interview with CNN before the book was published, Shillady described rising at 4 a.m. to write the devotions. He did not mention borrowing material for them.
In August, CNN found that Shillady had copied the writings of another pastor, the Rev. Matthew Deuel, in the devotional he sent to Clinton the day after she lost the presidential election. Shillady immediately apologized, saying he was “stunned” by the similarities between his email to Clinton and Deuel’s column. In a text message, Deuel said he and Shillady talked, and that he had accepted Shillady’s apology.
Abingdon Press did not disclose the other authors that Shillady copied material from.
This article has been updated to include a response from the book’s author, the Rev. Bill Shillady.