Melania Trump Speechwriter Takes Blame

Meredith McIver apologized for her mistake and offered her resignation

The fallout from Melania Trump's speech on Monday dominated Republican National Convention coverage for most of Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The fallout from Melania Trump's speech on Monday dominated Republican National Convention coverage for most of Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted July 20, 2016 at 1:19pm

Speechwriter Meredith McIver issued a statement Wednesday that she mistakenly inserted Michelle Obama’s words into Melania Trump’s address to the Republican National Convention on Monday. 

“In working with Melania Trump on her recent first lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama,” McIver said. “Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech.”
 
 
McIver said that she did not want her mistake to distract from the campaign and offered to resign. Trump did not accept the resignation, she added.
 
The Trump campaign’s initial response was to deny any wrongdoing and it even blamed Hillary Clinton for the media hysteria.
 
Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman, said Tuesday the idea that parts of the speech were plagiarized was “crazy.” 
 
“These are common words and values, that she cares about her family. Things like that,” Manafort said. “I mean she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michele Obama’s words is crazy.”
 
Donald Trump Jr. said Wednesday on MSNBC that the plagiarism charges are irrelevant and any continued talk is “beating a dead horse.” 
 
“I personally admire the way Mr. Trump has handled this situation and I am grateful for his understanding,” McIver said. 
 
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