A Donald Trump in-house staff writer named Meredith McIver has taken responsibility for the phrases in Melania Trump's RNC speech that were clearly lifted from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
The explanation seems to be Melania Trump read some passages by Michelle Obama, who Melania admits to admiring, to Ms. McIver who was helping with the speech.
McIver says she wrote the phrases down but somehow didn't realize (?) that the phrases were direct quotes from the First Lady.
“Over the phone, she (Melania Trump) 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.”
What isn't clear is why no one associated with the Trump campaign bothered to run the speech through commonly available software that checks for plagiarism.
And why would a professional writer (she co-wrote three of Donald Trump's books) take such a sloppy approach to the most important speech of Melania Trump's life?
Ms. McIver goes on to say that she offered her resignation but Donald responded with "people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences."
Because that sure sounds like the Trumpster, huh?
Here's what is interesting here: the minute this happened Monday night everyone on the Trump campaign including Melania knew who had worked on the speech. You know that the first person addressed in this debacle was Ms. McIver. Why wasn't this explanation offered yesterday? Instead we got 24 hours of distortion and obfuscation.
What this highlights is how such a small, inexperienced staff can hurt a campaign. And it continues today as the topic will now continue to dominate the news today. Very amateur stuff here.
You can read the full statement (on official Trump letterhead!) below. Click the image to enlarge.
The Trumpster, who has stayed silent as the campaign took time to formulate some kind of response, tweeted this out moments ago:
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