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Sweet: Melania Trump speech writer apologizes for ‘mistake’

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CLEVELAND – Meredith McIver, who worked with Melania Trump on her convention speech – which lifted passages from first lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention address – apologized for her “mistake” on Wednesday and said that Donald Trump rejected her resignation.

McIver in her statement said she was a staff writer for the Trump Organization – not a part of the Trump presidential campaign – who never intended to lift parts of Mrs. Obama’s speech.

Trump, the day before he accepts the Republican presidential nomination, said on Twitter, “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!”

Trump also tweeted, “The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails,” which is not true because the controversy exploded only after Mrs. Trump delivered her convention address on Monday.

OPINION

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After letting the Melania plagiarism fiasco fester for a whole news cycle – drowning out other coverage of Trump’s convention — the campaign finally moved to put the embarrassing incident behind them with the release of McIver’s statement. Still, the controversy exposed how thin the Trump political operation is on the eve of kicking off the general election campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The origin of the plagiarism was Mrs. Trump’s actually reading parts of Mrs. Obama’s speech to McIver, who apparently was not told that Mrs. Trump was quoting from the address of a first lady she admired. An irony is that a segment of Trump supporters hold Mrs. Obama – as well as President Barack Obama – in contempt.

“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. 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 in her statement.

“I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. That 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.”

“Yesterday, I offered my resignation to Mr. Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it. Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from those experiences. 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. 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.”

Said Republican strategist John Feehery, “this Melania speech [controversy] should have been over in three hours. They should have admitted their mistake and moved on.”

Meredith Statement

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