February 29th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
10 years ago

White House assistant admits plagiarism, resigns

 A White House aide has resigned after admitting to plagiarism.

A White House aide has resigned after admitting to plagiarism.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A senior White House official, Tim Goeglein, has resigned after he admitted copying large sections of an essay he wrote for a newspaper in Fort Wayne, Ind., the White House confirmed Friday.

"Today, Tim accepted responsibility for the columns published under his name in his local newspaper, and has apologized for not upholding the standards expected by the President," the White House said in a written statement. "The President was disappointed to learn of the matter, and he was saddened for Tim and his family. He has long appreciated Tim's service, and he knows him to be a good person who is committed to his country.

"President Bush accepted Tim's resignation today."

In an e-mail to The News-Sentinel, Goeglein, special assistant to the president and deputy director of public liaison, apologizes, saying, "It is true. I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses."

Goeglein said he has reached out to the author, Jeffery Hart, whose 1998 writings in the Dartmouth Review he copied nearly verbatim. "I have written to Jeff to apologize, and do so categorically and without exception," he says.

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Filed under: White House
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. bimmer

    It is time Obama also confesses to plagiarizing others.

    February 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. More than words have been stolen

    I hope he really means what he is saying in his apology, but who is Hillary asking every time she "borrows" from others? Her closing speech to applause ( Though I don't believe was intended for her) in TX. debate, campaign ads, interviews and rallies

    Others have stolen more than words.But what really is the clincher is this, ."President Bush accepted his resignation."
    I dare to say that I am convinced that our president & vice might be getting some illegal kick backs every time we pay for gas and other natural resources. It hasn't been proven, but, um it sure makes me wonder why Congress has not thought the same and gotten off their behinds to at least fully investigate these two Slick Willies.

    I have a problem with these two leaving office with their heads up and pockets full of poor people's money.

    February 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. kenny

    are you kidding me, hilary hasn't plagerized? she ripped off edwards a couple of weeks ago. she is acting like a republican right now. if the rules don't fit our plan, let's change the rules. the rules worked for her husband when he won texas. desparatiion is so ugly....

    February 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Rebecca - Fresno, CA

    sga... I thihk the news media clearly pointed out that Hillary did exaclty the same thing you called "plagiarism" in a speech a day after the debate in which she made her nasty remark to Sen. Obama.....except Hillary's lines were lifted from a speech by John Edwards and another from a speech given by her husband. Geez.....is this the stuff that determines your vote??? What about the issues????

    February 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Mike


    February 29, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  6. Independent, NC

    sga, If you are stating that Hillary has used only her words and no others, you have definitely missed the better part of this campaign. Hillary is guilty of plagiarism as well. I can't begin to quote all of the various times that she has been caught sighting others words. Including her most touching closing statements in the Texas debates. If you are going to criticize, try doing it in an area that your candidate is not guilty herself.

    February 29, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. truth hurts

    Tim February 29th, 2008 6:19 pm ET

    Barack walks up to the mic…and says,

    "If one candidate’s trying to scare you and the other one’s trying to get you to think, if one candidate’s appealing to your fears and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope."

    Then says,

    "Just so I don't get called a plagiarist, I want you to know those words aren't mine. They are the words of Bill Clinton.”

    Yes…Bill Clinton’s words, said to a crowd in Philadelphia on October 25, 2004.


    February 29, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. wrkn129

    I applaud him for owning up to it and taking responsibility. Or maybe he should have just told people it's no big deal because we're in "the silly season of politics." .

    February 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. TheLeftNut

    As long as the president didn't do anything wrong.

    We wouldn't to think that he would do anything...illegal.

    cough, cough

    February 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Marlow, SD

    He's said he was sorry and he apologized. Let it go, don't ruin his life.

    Just a thought.

    February 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. ep

    Reading some of these comments makes me weep for America. Are there really people this clueless?

    February 29, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. ann

    See BO, it's easy. You just admit the truth. And then resign!

    February 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. CarrieW

    Do you thinik BO will read this and also resign?

    February 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. kenny

    time for obama to do the same

    February 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Charlotte

    Glad to see the people are getting wise to Obama, who did not vote for the war.

    February 29, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. Vic

    This White House guy resigned
    Senator Biden gave up his presidential race.
    Honorable Obama???

    February 29, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  17. Trev


    Plagiarism is the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of (or incorporating material from) someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgement.

    Hmmmm nothing here about authorized or unauthorized. I am a published author and can tell you that you have to give credit whether you are authorized or not.

    The next time you decided to call Hillary supporters "fools" and uneducated, remember that roughtly half of the democratic electorate supports her. Not a very smart strategic move to call them all idiots now is it?

    Have a great weekend!

    Hillary 08 (without the hate)

    February 29, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  18. I AM

    This is not the 1st time. You just caught.

    This is different from what Obama speaks. You, the media, wants to tongue-tie him on everyday sayings. We cut and dice daily in the American version of the English language.

    Stealing thoughts is not limited to you. Matter of fact, not all I have written comes back to me or is posted. Who is the trash monitor. OOPS!!!!

    Obama in 2008

    February 29, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. Trev

    If you are a real undecided personal reading this blog, go and look at the posts. Count how many Obama supporters are disrespectful to Clinton supporters (as opposed to Clinton herself). Then count the number of Clinton supporters who are being disrespectful to Obama supporters (as opposed to Obama himself). We can learn a lot about a potential Obama presidency by looking at his supporters.

    February 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. K Fergus

    Wow! Imagine a poor White House staffer having to resign over plagiarism!! Such a crime!! Where is the logic in this? The President and his V.P. and others in his administration have clearly violated constitutional laws, lied to the people to invade another country under false pretenses, and caused the death of many Amercians and Iraqis. Yet, they have neither resigned nor have they been impeached (as they should be) for their actions. Is this the new brand of American justice??

    Oh wait, I forgot, he wasn't upholding the standards of the president. I guess it would have been better had he fabricated his words instead of just copied them. That would clearly meet Mr. Bush's standards.

    February 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. James

    So, this White House Aide at least has the honesty to admit his mistakes and resign gracefully as a result. I believe Sen. Obama committed the same offense and yet he thinks Plagriasm is NOT A BIG DEAL! Is that what a Senator wanted our children to know about Plagriasm? That it is okay?

    February 29, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  22. SN

    There's sign. If Obama gets the nomination, he'd proably plarigize people's work by talking w/o actions. there's scary.

    February 29, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. keith Franklin, Tn

    Well....what did you expect from any member of the staff of Bush Lite.

    After the "brain" left.....the floodgates have really opened. I hope before long some of the old Bush cabinet and staff members write books or "come clean" with what has really happened.

    I watched last night as Bush said he "hadn't heard about $4 a gallon gas possibilities. That was incredible and shows a man so detached from the real folks of this country. I just think Bush thinks we all are dumber than he is. What was the Republican Party thinking?

    We cannot afford 4 or even 8 more yrs of the same.

    Have you noticed that when Bush makes a statement about something it is usually the opposite of what happens. There is no recession....market drops 300+ pts........no oil shortage...oil goes over $100 a barrel.....if Bush gets behind you call the undertaker!!!!

    February 29, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  24. WJ

    All you hillary supporters need to back a democratic candidate, who will realize the same goals as her, instead of blasting Obama. (And if you're a republican supporter, it really appears as if you feel threatened.)

    February 29, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Ree

    Look at this Country it is going to the pigs. Hillary is a cry baby, a whiner and a cheater. If at first you do not succeed–try try again. First it was okay for the Democrates to punish Fla. and MIch. now that she is loosing she want those delegates to count. (wonder what would happen it the shoe was on the other foot) now she is trying to sue Texas because of the way they vote (They have voted this way for years, remember her husband ran for President and won the state) She accuses Obama of stealing other words, repeats it at the debate and at the end, steals other words as well.

    How can anyone trust her. Her change is like the weather you do not know exactly what you will get from day to day. Like Hillary her attitude, tone and reason she should be President changes everyday.

    Give me a break, ready on day one. I doubt it.

    February 29, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
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