A speechwriter on Wednesday took responsibility for parts of a speech Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's wife Melania gave at the Republican convention this week that drew accusations of plagiarism.
Meredith McIver, a staff writer for the Trump Organization, said she had inserted passages into Melania Trump's speech that resembled parts of a 2008 speech by first lady Michelle Obama.
McIver released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for using the language, which she said Melania Trump recited to her in a phone call, without checking to see how closely it matched Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago.
Accusations of plagiarism plagued the Trump campaign from the moment news of the similarities emerged, casting a shadow over Republicans' attempts to mount a smooth convention and present Trump to voters as a job creator and a strong hand on national security, immigration and violent crime.
Democrats said the Monday night affair and the Trump campaign's various explanations over the next 48 hours showed his team was not ready for prime time, all the more embarrassing because Trump has accused the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton of being untrustworthy.
In his first comments addressing the speech controversy, Trump argued early on Wednesday that the fuss could in fact be a plus for his campaign.
"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 wrote on Twitter.
McIver has co-written a number of Donald Trump's books, including “Think like a Champion: An informal Education in Business and Life” and “Trump: How to Get Rich.”
"My name is Meredith McIver and I’m an in-house staff writer at the Trump Organization. I am also a longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family.
In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady [sic] 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. 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.
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 these 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 handles this situation and I am grateful for his understanding."
On Tuesday morning, former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said on CNN that the staffer behind Melania Trump’s Republican convention speech should resign and “be held accountable,” but the network cited sources as saying no one will be fired.