Melania Trump's Speechwriter Comes Forward, Says She Offered Resignation but Trump Rejected It
Melania Trump’s speechwriter has emerged, saying she offered her resignation following the plagiarism accusations in the billionaire’s spouse’s RNC speech Monday night.
On Wednesday, writer Meredith McIver, a former ballerina who co-wrote Trump’s book Think like a Billionaire, said in a statement: "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 grow from these experiences."
Statement on Melania Trump speech pic.twitter.com/0iWIaFFjZW— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) July 20, 2016
McIver added: "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. That 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."
Prior to Monday night's speech, Mrs. Trump told reporters that she had little help writing the speech and did most of it herself.
Matthew Scully and John McConnell, veteran White House speechwriters for President George W. Bush, wrote Melania’s original draft. But next to nothing from that speech was reportedly used by Mrs. Trump. Instead, she opted to work with McIver.
The speech quickly became fodder for the late night jokesters.
Stephen Colbert poked fun of Melania Trump’s plagiarism accusations by restaging the speech with an actress to give the billionaire’s third wife another shot.
Colbert, who recorded The Late Show live from Cleveland, teamed up with Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti, who starred as Melania to say she did not plagiarize her speech from Michelle Obama by lifting from other famous lines and pawning them off as her own.
“My fellow Americans,” she said, “this is truly the best of times, it is the worst of times. I did not plagiarize my speech last night, I would never do such a thing. I would not, could not with a goat. I would not, could not on a boat. That is because I learned honesty during my humble upbringing, in West Philadelphia born and raised. Thank you. On the playground is where I spent most of my days.”
Colbert said that he believes Mrs. Trump was not to blame but her speech writers, saying: “If there was only someone in the Trump campaign that liked to fire people.”
The Daily Show, which also recorded from Cleveland, called Melania’s speech "The Art of the Steal," a play off her husband’s bestselling book.
“It would have been so easy for [the campaign] to just own up and say 'hey, this happened,’ especially when this is a lie that not a single person in America believes,” host Trevor Noah said. “And guys, this isn’t even a policy thing. What it is, though, is a preview, because this group of people given actual power will put us in some deep s***."