A writer took responsibility on Wednesday for the “chaos” caused by a speech given by the wife of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that drew accusations of plagiarism and cast a shadow over the party’s convention this week.
A small section of Melania Trump’s roughly 15-minute speech, which was a highlight of the opening day of the convention, was strikingly similar to Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech.
Meredith McIver, a staff writer for the Trump Organization, apologized and offered an explanation that contrasted with two days of efforts by the Trump campaign to deny there had been a problem with Melania Trump’s speech on Monday night.
In a statement, McIver said she had inserted passages into the Melania Trump speech that resembled parts of a 2008 speech by first lady Michelle Obama.
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.
She said Melania Trump had read passages from Michelle Obama’s speech to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, when Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency, over the phone to her as examples.
McIver then wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in a draft that became Melania Trump’s speech.
McIver said in her statement that Michelle Obama is a person Melania Trump “has always liked.”
Undeterred by the controversy, Donald Trump was confident that even the much hyped controversial reports would prove to be good press for the Trump campagin.
Hours before delivering the speech, Slovenian-born jewellery designer, Melania had however, told CBS’s Today that she had written most of the speech herself “with as little help as possible.
What was said perhaps to assert more credibility for Melania has backfired with Mclver suggesting that it was really her carelessness that caused the huge controversy.
But her husband’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told CBS’ “This Morning” on Tuesday that it was a collaboration with speechwriters.
The charge was all the more embarrassing because Trump has repeatedly slammed Clinton as untrustworthy.
McIver said she had offered to resign over the speech controversy, but Trump and his family had rejected the offer.
(With inputs from Reuters.)