Has the mystery of who is responsible for Melania Trump’s RNC speech finally been solved?
Meredith McIver, an employee of Donald Trump’s company, has come forward to take the blame for the controversial speech that Melania Trump delivered Monday night in Cleveland. Melania was accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech, and the Trump campaign originally denied that Donald Trump’s wife looked to the current First Lady when deciding what she would say during her big introduction to American people. However, as CNN reports, Meredith McIver has confirmed that Melania Trump used Michelle Obama’s words as examples of what she wanted to say in her own speech. According to McIver, Melania Trump is a longtime admirer of Barack Obama’s wife.
In a statement released by the Trump campaign, McIver reveals that she helped Melania Trump craft her RNC speech. They discussed different people Melania has been inspired by, and one of these people was Michelle Obama.
“A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama,” McIver writes.
“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. 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.”
Statement on Melania Trump speech pic.twitter.com/0iWIaFFjZW
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) July 20, 2016
McIver offered to resign, but Donald Trump and his wife refused to accept her resignation.
On Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus weighed in on the Melania Trump speech scandal by saying that he would “probably” fire the speechwriter responsible for including the two passages that appeared to be cribbed from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech. According to Bloomberg, Priebus predicted that the focus on Melania’s speech was a “distraction” that everyone would quickly move on from. However, this hasn’t been the case.
The Trump campaign’s initial response, which was penned by Senior Communications Advisor Jason Miller, said that Melania’s speech “included fragments that reflected her own thinking.” Now, the campaign has finally acknowledged that these “fragments” were cribbed from Michelle Obama’s speech.
Statement on Melania Trump Speech pic.twitter.com/80KgS0jxXz
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) July 19, 2016
Shortly before Meredith McIver released her statement, Donald Trump issued his own response to the plagiarism controversy. According to the GOP nominee, the criticism of his wife’s speech has actually been a good thing.
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
Donald Trump also tweeted that “the media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails.” However, it has only been two days since his wife delivered his speech, and, as CBS News reports, the FBI began investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in August, 2015.
As Politico reports, the Trump campaign initially tried to blame the extensive media coverage of Melania Trump’s speech controversy on Hillary Clinton. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort claimed that “when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person.”
However, the Clinton campaign denied that it had anything to do with the spread of the plagiarism rumors on social media, and USA Today reports that the striking similarities between Melania Trump and Michelle Obama’s speeches were first noticed by journalist and interior designer Jarrett Hill.
Manafort also claimed that the similarities between Melania and Michelle’s speeches were purely coincidental, arguing that Melania used “common words” to talk about her values. According to the Los Angeles Times, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson made a similar argument by saying that “this concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd.”
As the Inquisitr previously reported, RNC chief strategist and communications director Sean Spicer echoed Manafort and Peirson by contending that the controversial fragments of Melania’s speech, which included 23 consecutive words that were exact matches of Michelle’s, were similar to quotes by celebrities and fictional characters. Spicer was mocked for using My Little Pony character Twilight Sparkle as one of his examples, none of which matched Melania’s speech fragments word-for-word.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 19, 2016
Before taking the stage on Monday night, Melania Trump told Matt Lauer that she wrote her speech “with as little help as possible.” The New York Times reports that speechwriters Matthew McConnell and Matthew Scully penned the original draft of Melania’s speech, but she scrapped almost everything they wrote. She then turned to Meredith McIver, a former ballet dancer who has worked on a few of Donald Trump’s books.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]