An aide for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took responsibility for copying portions of First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 address for Melania Trump’s convention speech on Monday.
A statement distributed on Wednesday by the campaign featured an apology from Meredith McIver and an offer of resignation. The statement attributed to McIver said the Republican presidential nominee had rejected her offer to resign, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Staff writer Meredith McIver, who called herself “a longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family,” said in a statement released by the Trump campaign that while working with Melania Trump on her First Lady speech, the two discussed many people who inspired Melania Trump.
“A person she (Melania Trump) has always liked is Michelle Obama,” Xinhua quoted McIver as saying.
“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,” she said.
According to McIver, she did not check Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech.
“This was my mistake and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Michelle Obama,” said McIver.
The statement came two days after embarrassing similarities were revealed between parts of Melania Trump’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention on Monday night and Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.
The plagiarism charges threatened to overshadow Trump’s official ascent to the standard-bearer of a major US political party and came just hours after the Trump campaign fiercely denied the overlap.
Shortly after the release of the statement, Trump pointed out one positive side of the episode in his twitter post that his wife’s speech “got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press”.
In another twitter post, Trump criticized the US media for spending more time “doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails”.