After repeatedly denying that elements of a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama were used in Melania Trump’s address on the first night of the Republican National Convention, an employee of the Trump Organization took responsibility for the flap on Wednesday.
In a statement issued by the Trump campaign, staff writer Meredith McIver accepted responsibility for the addition of Michelle Obama’s words in the speech.
In her statement, McIver said Melania Trump “always liked” Mrs. Obama and read passages from the 2008 speech to McIver, who says she wrote them down and included them in the speech.
“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,” wrote McIver.
McIver says she offered her resignation but it was rejected by Donald Trump.
“Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences,” wrote McIver.
When the similarity between the two speeches became news on Tuesday, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said Melania Trump’s words were her own and blamed the Clinton campaign for raising the issue even though the Clinton campaign remained silent about the speech for much of the day.
According to the New York Times, the Trump campaign initially reached out to a pair of veteran Republican speechwriters, who wrote an initial draft that Melania Trump was unhappy with and rewrote extensively.