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Melania Trump Speechwriter Apologizes, Trump Rejects Resignation

Melania Trump GOP Republican Convention
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

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!”