CLEVELAND (AP) — Seeking to put out a political fire, a Donald Trump staff writer said Wednesday she had included passages from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech in Melania Trump’s Monday night address to the Republican National Convention.
Meredith McIver said she felt terrible about the controversy — including accusations of plagiarism — that the incident had brought about for Donald Trump’s campaign, for Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Obama. She said she had offered to resign, but Donald Trump had rejected the offer.
Her statement was the first sign of the Trump campaign acknowledging the similarities between the speeches were more than just coincidence. The campaign spent much of Tuesday dismissing the plagiarism charges as politically motivated and overblown.
Mrs. Trump’s speech Monday night, well-received by the delegates and many TV viewers, was quickly criticized for including passages that were similar to Mrs. Obama’s at the 2008 Democratic convention. Two passages of 30 words or more were nearly identical.
McIver’s statement said she and Mrs. Trump had discussed many people who had inspired her, including Mrs. Obama, “and messages she wanted to share with the American people.” That included some Obama passages as examples.
The writer included several of those, which Melania Trump read Monday night.
“This was my mistake and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant,” McIver said in a statement released by the campaign.
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