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Publisher recalls book by Hillary Clinton's pastor due to extensive plagiarism

(YouTube/Democratic National Convention)Rev. Bill Shillady appears in a screen capture of a video from the Democratic National Convention.

A book by Hillary Clinton's longtime pastor, Rev. Bill Shillady, is being pulled from store shelves after the discovery of an extensive amount of plagiarism.

Abingdon Press is discontinuing the sales of Shillady's book titled "Strong for a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotions of Hillary Rodham Clinton," which is based on emails that were sent by the pastor to Clinton from April 2015 through December of last year.

Days before the book's release on Aug. 14, CNN reported that some of the content in the book had been copied from another pastor without proper attribution. The report prompted the publisher to conduct an "extensive review" of the book according to Rev. Brian Milford, the president and publisher of The United Methodist Publishing House, which owns Abingdon Press.

"Abingdon Press has zero tolerance for plagiarism. Consequently, we have discontinued sales, will remove existing copies from all sales outlets, and will have them destroyed along with our existing inventory," Milford said.

The plagiarism was first discovered by Indiana pastor Matt Deuel, who read a prominent section in the book and recognized that one of the emails sent to Clinton was very similar to a blog post he wrote in 2016.

Shillady immediately issued an apology, saying he was "stunned" by the similarities between his email to Clinton and Deuel's blog post.

Abingdon had initially accepted Shillady's apology and decided to release an amended version of the book with proper credit to Deuel. But the review reportedly uncovered numerous additional instances of plagiarism, prompting the publisher to recall all copies of the book from store shelves.

"I deeply regret my actions," Shillady said on Tuesday. "I was wrong and there is no excuse for it. I apologize to those whose work I mistakenly did not attribute. I apologize to those I have disappointed, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, Abingdon Press, and all the writers and others who have helped me publish and promote this book. I ask for everyone's forgiveness," he continued.

CNN reported that Clinton was supposed to appear at an event in New York on Thursday to promote the book and had written the foreword praising Shillady for his writings.

Abingdon, which publishes mostly inspirational Christian-themed books and bible study aids, did not disclose the other authors that Shillady copied material from.

Shillady formed a spiritual bond with Clinton, who is a lifelong Methodist, after meeting the politician in New York in 2002. The pastor had officiated at Chelsea Clinton's wedding in 2010 and had presided over the memorial service for the former presidential candidate's mother.

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