Donald Trump said Wednesday his wife's speechwriter "made a mistake" when she plagiarized Michelle Obama in Melania Trump's convention address on Monday night.
"She made a mistake...we all make mistakes," the Republican presidential nominee told ABC News when asked why he rejected the speechwriter's offer to resign.
The speechwriter, Meredith McIver, has been described as an “in-house staff writer" for the Trump Organization.
"She's been with me a long time," Trump told ABC News. "She's a very good person."
In a statement on Wednesday, McIver, who described herself as a “longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family,” took responsibility for the plagiarism scandal. McIver said she worked with Melania Trump on the speech and mistakenly failed to remove quotes from Obama's 2012 convention speech that Trump had read her as example passages she wished to emulate.
"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.
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 grow 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 handles this situation and I am grateful for his understanding.
McIver has co-written several books with Donald Trump, including 2004's Trump: How To Get Rich.
Trump added on ABC News that McIver hated seeing the "conflict" her speech had caused and wanted to be clear about who should take responsibility. He praised the work she had done for the Trumps over the years.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
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