“I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused,” said Meredith McIver, who described herself as “a longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family” in a statement posted on the Trump campaign’s website.
The New York Times said the statement came just hours after Trump’s chief strategist, Paul Manafort, blamed the media for turning the situation into a scandal.
Since Monday, the Trump campaign and its surrogates have been denying what was obvious to everyone else: Melania Trump used several lines from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech in her remarks on Monday night at the Republican National Convention. They dismissed the similarities as shared values and common sentiments.
McIver explained that in preparing to draft the speech, she spoke with Mrs. Trump about people who inspired her. “A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama,” McIver recalled.
The speechwriter said Mrs. Trump read passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech to her over the telephone. McIver jotted them down and included “some of the phrasing” in the speech she wrote. McIver denied reviewing the First Lady’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,” McIver said in her statement.
McIver said she offered to resign, but Trump refused to accept her resignation.
“Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and we learn and grow from these experiences,” her statement said.
McIver said removing the “distraction” to the campaign motived her to come forward.