Monica Crowley is a former Fox News contributor and current spokeswoman for the United States Treasury Department. Early on the Trump Administration, Monica was being strongly considered to join the National Security Council (NSC) under former White House National Security Advisor retired General Mike Flynn. However, shortly after the announcement that Monica was an NSC team candidate, CNN, Politico, and several other news media outlets published a slew of hit pieces accusing her of plagiarizing both her college thesis while at Columbia University and her 2012 book.
The accusations led to an official internal investigation at Columbia University that has now concluded, and the findings of the investigation have concluded that the accusations against Monica Crowley were unfounded and materially false.
Roots of the Allegations
Many individuals associated favorably with the Trump Administration have faced severe public backlash due to the establishment media’s obvious disdain for the President and his administration’s policies. The attacks against Monica Crowley have been called the “patient zero” case of left-leaning news outlets smearing members and potential members of Trump’s administration, which began before he even officially took office. However, like many of the other accusations leveled by CNN, Politico, The Washington Post, and other news outlets with strong ties to the Democratic left, the accusations against Monica Crowley have fallen apart under scrutiny.
Columbia University takes accusations of research misconduct and plagiarism very seriously and consequently launched an investigation into the accusations surrounding Monica Crowley’s PhD dissertation. What they found were minor instances of plagiarism in the technical sense that amounted to no more than incomplete citations. When CNN and other news outlets reported on Monica’s so-called “plagiarism,” they neglected to mention more than 40 footnotes included in the dissertation that clearly outlined Monica’s research sources.
Monica has encouraged the public to read her dissertation for themselves, which covers relations between the United States and China. She encourages this because she is not only proud of her work and considers her dissertation subject a newsworthy topic, but also wants the public to see her research, annotations, and footnotes for themselves.
Columbia University’s Response
Official investigations at any major university can take a very long time, and the Columbia University investigation of Monica Crowley’s dissertation was no exception. Launched shortly after the hit pieces published in 2012, the university concluded its investigation in December of 2019, nearly seven years after the accusations were first launched.
After the conclusion of their investigation into Monica Crowley’s dissertation and research methods, Columbia University has announced they have no plans to discipline her in any way, and the irregularities found with her dissertation amount to no more than a few missing annotations and annotations incorrectly listed within footnotes, errors Monica has offered to correct. Ultimately, Columbia University’s assessment of Monica’s dissertation is that there were some annotations that could have been done better, but the corrections were very minor.
Trump Administration Response to Monica’s Vindication
Trump administration spokespeople have responded positively to this news, citing the ongoing political feud between the establishment media and the Trump administration as well as its supporters. There has been a clear divide in American politics and President Trump is arguably the most divisive President to take office in modern times, but repeated attacks against the integrity of Trump administration candidates and officials have amounted to little more than attempted political smears. A former White House official spoke on the matter and said:
“The media and enemies of President Trump simply cannot stand a strong woman serving in the Administration, so they peddle fictitious allegations and outright lies with no regard for what is actually true. Monica is a world class talent that serves her country well. We need more people like her, not less.”
Many hope that this story and others like it will encourage the public to conduct their own research when they read inflammatory news articles about anyone on either end of the political spectrum and to approach establishment media with caution.