A Trump organization staffer has come forward to say she was responsible for the undeniable similarities between Melania Trump's speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention and first lady Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention, calling the plagiarism an innocent mistake.
On Wednesday, Trump Organization in-house staff writer Meredith McIver released an open letter, taking the blame for the accusations of plagiarism. McIver says she worked with Melania on the speech beforehand, and that the 46-year-old former model read her some passages from Obama's speech over the phone as examples of what she liked. McIver says she included them in a draft of the speech, without first checking Obama's speeches.
"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," McIver writes. "A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. 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 says she offered her resignation to the Trump family on Tuesday, but they rejected it.
"Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences," McIver, who calls herself a "longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family," writes. "I asked to put out this statement because I did not like seeing the way this was distracting from Mr. Trump's historic campaign for president and Melania's beautiful message and presentation."
"I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused," she adds. "Today, more than ever, I am honored to work for such a great family. I personally admire the way Mr. Trump has handled this situation and I am grateful for his understanding."
Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, previously publicly denied that any plagiarism occurred.
"There's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech. These were common words and values that she cares about, her family, things like that," Manafort said on CNN's New Day on Tuesday. "She was speaking in front of 35 million people last night --she knew that -- to think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy."
Trump tweeted about all the controversy surrounding his wife's speech on Wednesday, and remained unapologetic.
"Good news is Melania's speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!" the 70-year-old presidential hopeful tweeted.
"The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania's speech than the FBI spent on Hillary's emails," he also wrote.
Good news is Melania's speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2016
The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania's speech than the FBI spent on Hillary's emails.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2016
Watch the video below for more on the controversy surrounding Melania's speech.