The flap over Melania Trump's plagiarized speech at the Republican National Convention led a Trump staff speechwriter to offer her resignation. But Donald Trump isn't accepting. Instead, he opted to forgive speechwriter Meredith McIver on Tuesday and told her that everyone makes mistakes.
Melania Trump's speech on Monday had been heralded as a success until a journalist discovered that many phrases were lifted from First Lady Michelle Obama's convention speech in 2008. Despite clear evidence that parts of Obama's speech were copied, the Trump campaign let an entire day pass in which they denied any connection to the 2008 speech and dismissed the wording reused by Melania Trump as "common words."
The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania's speech than the FBI spent on Hillary's emails.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2016
McIver, apparently, had enough of that.
In a statement published to the Trump campaign's website Wednesday, she said Melania Trump liked Michelle Obama and read her some passages from Obama's convention speech over the phone.
"I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech," McIver stated. "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 Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant."
She said when she tried to offer her resignation, Donald Trump rejected it.
"Mr. Trump said people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences," McIver stated.
She concluded by saying she decided to release a statement to the media because she did not want the issue to continue to distract from the Trump campaign.
"I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused," she wrote. "Today, more than ever, I am honored to work for such a great family."
East Aurora resident Michael Caputo, a veteran political PR consultant with former ties to the Trump campaign, said McIver's longstanding relationship with the Trump family makes it harder to execute maneuvers straight out of a smart-PR playbook.
Under ordinary cirumstances, he said, a campaign facing this type of problem should act more quickly.
"When these kinds of things happen, you want to act swiftly because every tick of the clock, the problem becomes larger," he said. "Sometimes you hold your breath and hope that it goes away, because some do, but this one wasn’t going away."