• 07.20.16

How Michelle Obama’s words found their way into Melania Trump’s speech

Although ardent Trump supporter and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said it’s hard to argue Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention was plagiarized from a speech eight years earlier by Michelle Obama, since 93% of Trump’s speech is different from Obama’s, a Trump staffer has still apologized for the “mistake” in a public statement.

According to a report in the New York Times, the Trump campaign initially hired two speechwriters to draft remarks for the aspiring first lady, but she was dissatisfied with their draft.  She began working with the staffer, Meredith McIver, to revise the speech. According to McIver’s statement, Melania Trump shared some passages from the speech by Michelle Obama, whom she admired, as examples. McIver, described by the Times  as a former ballerina and English major who also worked on some of Donald Trump’s books, said she inadvertently incorporated some of those passages into the draft without checking the Obama 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,” she wrote. “No harm was meant.”

McIver’s explanation seemed to contradict earlier comments from Christie and other Trump supporters, who had argued the overlap was simply due to the similar circumstances of Michelle Obama in 2008 and Melania Trump in 2016.