×

Melania Trump Speechwriter Apologizes, Trump Rejects Resignation

CLEVELAND — A speechwriter who worked on Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention took responsibility for phrasing that closely resembles words said by Michelle Obama in a speech in 2008.

Meredith McIver offered to resign, but that was rejected, she wrote in a letter released by the Trump campaign.

“In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people,” she wrote. “A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech.”

Melanie Trump’s speech was well received, but was quickly overshadowed by allegations that it was copied from the Obama address, made at the Democratic National Convention that year.

Trump’s campaign pushed back on the story in a number of ways, including that the media was blowing the situation out of proportion, but it has proven to be a distraction during the convention.

“I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused,” McIver wrote.

She wrote that she is an in-house speechwriter at the Trump Organization. “I am also a longtime admirer and friend of the Trump family,” she wrote.

Trump tweeted out her letter, although he had personally stayed silent about the controversy throughout the day on Tuesday. He and his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, are expected to arrive at an event by helicopter on Wednesday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

“The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails,” Trump complained on Twitter.

But he also wrote, “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!”

More TV

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

  • Dazzler, Tigra, Hit-Monkey, and M.O.D.O.K.

    'Howard the Duck,' 'Tigra & Dazzler' Animated Marvel Shows Not Moving Forward at Hulu

    Marvel Television’s remaining slate continues to dwindle. Variety has confirmed that the animated shows “Howard the Duck” and “Tigra & Dazzler” — two of four animated Marvel projects set up at Hulu — are no longer in the works at the streamer. The other two shows, “M.O.D.O.K” and “Hit Monkey,” are currently still on track [...]

  • Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi movie

    After 'Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi Delay, Is the Force Still Strong With Disney Plus?

    The issues on Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi series are either a minor stumble or a portent of trouble ahead, depending on who you ask. It was reported on Thursday that series writer Hossein Amini was no longer attached to the project as Disney wished to overhaul the scripts. The move led to pre-production in London [...]

  • The unboxing teaser

    TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'The Undoing' Teaser

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released a teaser for “The Undoing” and Showtime dropped a trailer for “The Trade” Season 2. FIRST LOOKS HBO released a teaser for its forthcoming limited series “The Undoing,“ which will premiere in May. The six-part series based on the novel “You Should Have Known” by Jean Hanff Korelitz, [...]

  • Sean Hannity

    Sean Hannity Set for Super Bowl Pre-Game Interview With President Trump

    Sean Hannity has talked with President Donald Trump many times, but never quite like this. Hannity is the latest TV-news personality to take on what has in recent years developed into a Super Bowl Sunday tradition: a pre-game interview with the President of the United States. Savannah Guthrie, Gayle King and Bill O’Reilly are among [...]

  • CBS Orders Comedy Pilot From '9JKL'

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot From '9JKL' Creator, Comedian James Acaster

    CBS is developing a project that takes a comedic look at the age-old “12 Angry Men” dilemma of how does a jury come to a unanimous verdict? The network has issued a pilot order for “We The Jury,” a hybrid series from “9JKL” co-creator Dana Klein and Stephanie Darrow. The project hails from CBS Television [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content