Elections

Trump staffer fesses up: I cribbed Michelle Obama speech

Melania Trump and Michelle Obama convention speeches back-to-back

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman denies reports that Melania Trump lifted language from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech for her 2016 Republican National Convention speech in Cleveland on Monday night. Reporters noted th
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Donald Trump’s campaign chairman denies reports that Melania Trump lifted language from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech for her 2016 Republican National Convention speech in Cleveland on Monday night. Reporters noted th

It took two days, but Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Wednesday acknowledged cribbing from First Lady Michelle Obama's speech — unintentionally, the campaign said — when writing Melania Trump's own speech.

Meredith McIver, an “in-house staff writer” for the Trump Organization, said in a statement that Melania Trump read her some of Obama's lines over the phone as inspiration.

“I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech,” McIver wrote. “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.”

McIver said she offered her resignation Tuesday but it was rejected: “Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences.”

The statement, printed on Trump corporate letterhead and disseminated by his political campaign, concluded with an apology from McIver “for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused.”

What remains unclear is why it took the Trump camp so long to take responsibility for the plagiarism, especially if it was inadvertent.

The campaign and national Republicans bumbled through several defensive explanations since Melania Trump delivered her speech Monday night. One of them, from Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer, referred to a character from “My Little Pony.”

“Melania Trump said, ‘the strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them.’ Twilight Sparkle from ‘My Little Pony’ said, ‘This is your dream. Anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now,’” Spicer said.

Trump himself wrote about the controversy earlier Wednesday on Twitter.

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