- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

CLEVELAND — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign Wednesday identified an in-house staff writer as the person responsible for plagiarism in Melania Trump’s convention speech.

The Trump campaign blamed Meredith McIver, who was described an in-house staff writer from the Trump organization, for accidentally including portions of a speech by first lady Michelle Obama in the speech that Mrs. Trump delivered Monday night.

“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,” Ms. McIver said in the statement released by the campaign.

Ms. McIver said that she offered her resignation but it was not accepted.

The allegation of plagiarism marred an otherwise upbeat performance by Mrs. Trump and cast a pall over the opening day of the convention.

Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had vehemently denied that any part of Mrs. Trump’s speech as cribbed from Mrs. Obama.

Mr. Trump’s son Eric Trump, who is a top official in the campaign, has said that “zero” speechwriters helped draft Mrs. Trump’s speech.

Mrs. Trump also said in an interview with NBC News that she wrote the speech herself.

In the statement, Ms. McIver wrote:

“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.”

Ms. McIver said she put out the statement because she “did not like seeing the way this was distracting form Mr. Trump’s historic campaign for president and Melania’s beautiful message and presentation.”

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