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Stephen Colbert Gave ‘Melania Trump’ an Opportunity to Respond to Plagiarism Accusations

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Social media users had a field day attributing famous quotes to Melania Trump in the wake of her plagiarism scandal, and Stephen Colbert’s writing team had just as much fun putting the practice to good use in a bit for The Late Show on Tuesday night.

Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti appeared on the show in character as Melania Trump, giving a statement on accusations that she’d lifted language from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. “My fellow Americans,” she said, “this is truly the best of times, it is the worst of times. I did not plagiarize my speech last night, I would never do such a thing. I would not, could not with a goat. I would not, could not on a boat. That is because I learned honesty during my humble upbringing, in West Philadelphia born and raised. Thank you. On the playground is where I spent most of my days.”

In an email to TIME, Benanti said a friend of hers had first pointed out the resemblance, and then when she appeared on The Late Show in March, “Stephen said the same thing. He brought out a picture of her and I squinted and pouted and there she was!

“Tuesday morning I got a call asking if I would come on and do a sketch as Melania. I was on vacation traveled 5 hours to come back! I studied her voice and mannerisms the entire way. It was a whirlwind and such an exhilarating experience. I’m so grateful to the Colbert show, Stephen and the brilliant writers for putting together such a hilarious sketch!”

Watch the full clip above.

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