Sounds familiar ... Donald Trump's wife Melania 'copies' a speech from Michelle Obama

Video report by ITV News' Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Michelle Obama may be taking comfort from the saying, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" after Donald Trump's wife made a speech that appeared to have been directly copied from the First Lady.

Melania Trump made the keynote address at the Republican national convention on Monday night, but the words that drew the most applause from her audience appear to have been copied from her Democrat rival.

Our Washington Correspondent Robert Moore said the gaffe was a "deeply embarrassing own-goal".

This is the section of the speech drawing international attention:

Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention address:(Skip to 4:42)

The speech, while well-received at first, was quickly mocked on social media with many placing the two speeches together to highlight the "blatant" similarities.

The hashtag #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes soon began to trend.

Before the controversy erupted, Melania Trump told Today host Matt Lauer that she had written the speech with "as little help as possible."

Donald Trump and his team initially dodged all requests for a response to allegations of plagiarism, responding only with praise for the address, but later Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort denied any "copying."

He told CNN: "There is no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech.

"These were common words and values and she cares about her family," he added.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who endorsed Trump and was hoping to be picked as his vice-presidential candidate, told Today the speech could not have been plagiarised because "93% of it is completely different."