Trump refuses to fire staffer who plagiarized Michelle Obama's speech for Melania: "People make innocent mistakes"

One day ago, the entire Trump campaign was denying the obvious plagirism. So much for hiring all the best people

By Sophia Tesfaye
July 20, 2016 9:49PM (UTC)
main article image
Melania Trump stands with Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, (Reuters)

In the 24 hours following potential first lady Melania Trump's humiliating speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday, there were a myriad of lame excuses her husband's campaign provided to deny the apparent plagiarism of America's current first lady in the former model's address.

Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort flatly denied the apparent plagiarism of Michelle Obama's 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention.


"There's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech," he told CNN. "These were common words and values — that she cares about her family, things like that. I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy."

Trump national spokesperson Katrina Pierson quipped that "this concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd."
Trump rival turned lackey Chris Christie absurdly argued it can't be plagiarism if "93% of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech,” hours before he entered Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to "prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton."


“Who cares,” former House Speaker turned Trump lackey Newt Gingrich told CNN after being asked if Trump's plagiarism would hurt her husband's campaign. “The fact is Melania gave a good speech, she is stunningly attractive, stunningly articulate, [and] most of the people who are criticizing her can’t speak five languages”:

Even the RNC, fresh off squashing a revolt within its own ranks on behalf of Trump, embarrassed itself defending the indefensible.


"Melania Trump said, 'the strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them.' Twilight Sparkle from 'My Little Pony' said, 'This is your dream. Anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now,'" explained Republican National Convention chief strategist Sean Spicer  on CNN Tuesday.

Well, after all of that denial, someone from the Trump orbit has finally stepped forward to provide some semblance of honesty to the public.


“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,” Trump staffer Meredith McIver wrote in a statement released by the Trump Organization Wednesday.

The New York Times reported Wednesday evening that McIver was “a New York City-based former ballet dancer and English major who has worked on some of Mr. Trump’s books, including ‘Think Like a Billionaire.'" McIver provides some more insight into what happened with Trump's speech:

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

"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," she said in the statement.


McIver claimed that she offered her resignation from the Trump Organization, but that the Trump family rejected it.

"Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences."

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Election 2016 Elections 2016 Melania Trump Plagiarism Rnc 2016 Rnc Cleveland