Mere days after it was announced he would be joining the Trump administration as assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Sheriff David Clarke was outed as an alleged plagiarist.
Clarke, a sheriff in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, “failed to properly attribute his sources at least 47 times,” according to CNN’s KFILE, when writing his thesis on American security for a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School.
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While he noted his sources via footnotes, Clarke did not use quotation marks to denote he was using another author’s exact words, CNN found. This violates the Naval Postgraduate School’s guidelines on plagiarism.
Numerous times, Clarke lifted sections from various ACLU reports, government reports (including the 9/11 Commission Report), media stories, and even George W. Bush’s 2010 autobiographical book, Decision Points.
Clarke is not the first Trump administration figure to be caught using copy-paste a bit too liberally and without proper credit. Monica Crowley, who withdrew her name from consideration for a role with the National Security Council because of plagiarism allegations surrounding her 2012 book—a point Clarke was quick to call out on Twitter when answering to the CNN story.
Clarke’s thesis text was quickly removed from the school’s website, as is its policy when a thesis is under scrutiny for plagiarism.