The speechwriter who co-wrote Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech, which drew accusations of plagiarism after lifting portions of Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, has identified herself and offered her resignation.
In a statement released by the Trump Organization, aide Meredith McIver apologized and accepted responsibility for the resemblance between the two speeches. McIver also said that while she tendered her resignation as a result of the scandal, Donald Trump‘s campaign rejected it.
In the statement, McIver explained why Melanie and Michelle’s speeches were so similar. “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 wrote.
“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. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.”
McIver, “a longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family,” offered her resignation, which was then rejected by the Trump campaign because “people make innocent mistakes.” McIver admitted her role in the Melania speech because she felt that it was “distracting” attention away from Trump’s “historic campaign.”
“I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused,” McIver wrote.
Even thought it was chalked up to a misunderstanding, the Melania speech became instant fodder for social media and the late-night shows, which relished in skewering Trump for reciting Michelle Obama’s passages.
As the New York Times notes:
The employee is the first person to publicly apologize for an error at any point during the Trump campaign https://t.co/BlPofBD3zQ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 20, 2016