CLEVELAND, July 20 (Reuters) – A staff writer of the Trump Organization, the company owned by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has claimed responsibility for inserting passages in a speech given at the Republican National Convention by Trump’s wife Melania that resembled parts of a 2008 speech by first lady Michelle Obama.
The woman, Meredith McIver, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for using the language, which she said Melania Trump recited to her in a phone call, without checking to see how closely it matched Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago.
The full statement from McIver is below:
“TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
My name is Meredith McIver and I’m an in-house staff writer at the Trump Organization. I am also a longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family.
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. 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. 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 to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.
Yesterday, I offered my resignation to Mr. Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it. Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and frow from these experiences.
I asked to put out this statement because I did not like seeing the way this was distracting from Mr. Trump’s historic campaign for president and Melania’s beautiful message and presentation.
I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused. Today, more than ever, I am honored to work for such a great family. I personally admire the way Mr. Trump has handled this situation and I am grateful for his understanding.