Monica Crowley, President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s pick for a top National Security Council job, plagiarizednumerous passages in her Ph.D. dissertation, Politico Magazine has found.
An examination of the dissertation and the sources it cites identified more than a dozen sections of text that have been lifted, with little to no changes, from other scholarly works without proper attribution. In some instances, Crowley footnoted her source but did not identify with quotation marks the text she was copying directly. In other instances, she copied text or heavily paraphrased with no attribution at all.
This finding comes on the heels of CNN’s Saturday report that Crowley, the conservative author and commentator whom Trump tapped as senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, plagiarized more than 50 passages in her 2012 book What the (Bleep) Just Happened, copying directly from conservative columns, news articles, Wikipedia and in one case a podiatrist’s website.
Despite the news, the Trump team continues to support the appointment. “Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country,” a transition spokesperson told CNN. The transition team did not reply to requests for comment for this story.
Crowley submitted her dissertation, titled “Clearer Than Truth: Determining and Preserving Grand Strategy: The Evolution of American Policy Toward the People’s Republic of China Under Truman and Nixon,” in 2000 in partial completion of her Ph.D. in international relations at New York’s Columbia University. Today, the thesis is kept on microfilm at the University of Michigan and accessible via ProQuest, an academic database.
By checking passages in the document against the sources Crowley cites, focusing on paragraphs that come before and after footnotes of key sources in her bibliography, we found numerous structural and syntactic similarities. She lifted passages from her footnoted texts, occasionally making slight wording changes but rarely using quotation marks. Sometimes she didn’t footnote at all.
Parts of Crowley’s dissertation appear to violate Columbia’s definition of “Unintentional Plagiarism” for “failure to ‘quote’ or block quote author’s exact words, even if documented” or “failure to paraphrase in your own words, even if documented.” In other cases, her writing appears to violate types I and II of Columbia’s definition of “Intentional Plagiarism,” which are, respectively, “direct copy and paste” and “small modification by word switch,” “without quotation or reference to the source.”