A Trump staffer apologized Wednesday for using remarks by Michelle Obama in a speech delivered by Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention that ignited a deeply embarrassing plagiarism row.
The speech from the ex-model, watched by millions on television on Monday night, amounted to a nightmarish start for the convention and subjected her husband’s presidential campaign to withering scrutiny.
Melania Melania Trump had “always liked” the Democratic first lady and had “read me some passages from Mrs Obama’s speech” as examples of what she wanted to tell the convention, said staffer Meredith McIver.
“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,” she said in a statement released by the Trump campaign. “No harm was meant.” McIver said Trump had refused to accept her resignation, saying that “people make innocent mistakes,” according to her statement.
“I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused,” said McIver, who was identified as an in-house staff writer from the Trump Organization.
“I personally admire the way Mr Trump has handled this situation and I am grateful for his understanding.”
Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to comment on the swirling controversy, saying:
“Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!”