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Rachel Maddow's MSNBC Report Prompts Plagiarism Confession from Rand Paul Aide

6/17/2014

By Sara Morrison
TheWrap

After a week of discoveries that Rand Paul plagiarized sections of Wikipedia, magazine articles, and think tanks for his speeches, op-eds, and books, the Kentucky senator has admitted to improper sourcing, citing a staff error.

"In the thousands of speeches and op-eds Sen. Paul has produced, he has always presented his own ideas, opinions and conclusions," said Doug Stafford,┬áPaul's senior adviser, in a statement. "Sen. Paul also relies on a large number of staff and advisers to provide supporting facts and anecdotes — some of which were not clearly sourced or vetted properly."

Also read: Stephen Colbert Defends Rand Paul Against Rachel Maddow Plagiarism Accusations (Video)

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow first discovered Paul's tendency to lift from other sources last Monday, noting that a recent speech lifted parts of a Wikipedia entry about the film "Gattaca." Paul had been defiant, calling the charges against him the work of "hacks and haters" and challenging Maddow to a duel.

But after several outlets picked up on additional instances of plagiarism, Paul was forced to admit that he (or at least, his staff) had erred.

Also read: Senators Rand Paul and Bob Menendez to Be CNN's First 'Crossfire' Guests (Exclusive)

Stafford promised that, in the future, Paul would have a new "approval process" in place and "quoting, footnoting and citing will be more complete."

Paul was less contrite in an interview with the New York Times, however, saying "What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we're going to do them like college papers."

Related stories from TheWrap:

MSNBC.com Chief: 'Why Would We Want to Look Like the New York Times or the Huffington Post?'

Stephen Colbert Defends Rand Paul Against Rachel Maddow Plagiarism Accusations (Video)

Senators Rand Paul and Bob Menendez to Be CNN's First 'Crossfire' Guests (Exclusive)

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