Politics 2016: Speechwriter Meredith McIver Accepts Responsibility for Melania’s Speech Echoing Michelle Obama’s

A speechwriter on Donald Trump’s staff accepted responsibility on Wednesday morning for using portions of a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008 in a speech given by Melania Trump on Monday at the Republican National Convention.

Meredith Mclver, an in-house staff writer at the Trump Organization, said in a statement shared by the campaign that she listened to Melania read portions of speeches by people who had inspired her. A portion of one speech was from Michelle Obama.

“I wrote them down and included some phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This is 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 in the statement.

Mclver said she tried to offer Trump her resignation for the incident, but he refused. “Mr. Trump told me people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences,” she said in the statement.

The speeches were being compared immediately after Melania walked off stage at the convention Monday. The similarities were first pointed out by journalist Jarrett Hill on Twitter.

Up until this point, the Trump campaign said the speech was original and praised Melania’s delivery.

“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!” Trump tweeted Wednesday before the statement was released. “The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails.”

Here is the portion in question from Melania’s speech on Monday:

From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in in their daily lives. That is a lesson that we continue to pass on to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievement is the strength of your dream and your willingness to work for them.

Here is a portion from Michelle’s speech which is the comparison:

And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, like that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.