Trump Corporate Writer Takes the Blame for Speech in Plagiarism Scandal

The Trump Organization employee says she offered to resign.

AP Photos

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


After spending Tuesday denying that a speech Monday night by Melania Trump that borrowed substantial passages from a Michelle Obama speech constituted plagiarism, and insisting that Melania Trump wrote the speech herself, the Trump campaign released a letter from a writer employed by the Trump Organization accepting blame for using Obama’s words and writing the speech for Melania.

Meredith McIver, who identifies herself in the letter as an in-house staff writer for the Trump Organization, wrote that she had spoken to Melania Trump over the phone, and after Trump said she admired Michelle Obama and some of her speeches, wrote those concepts into the speech that Trump gave Monday night. McIver, who helped Donald Trump write several books, apologized for using Obama’s words and wrote that she had offered to resign, but Trump refused to accept the resignation.

The change in course is particularly striking because barely 24 hours earlier, Paul Manafort, the campaign’s chairman, had lashed out at critics, firmly brushing aside the idea that there was any plagiarism whatsoever.

The campaign, which was already under fire for not having the usual staff and safeguards to ensure nothing like the plagiarism allegations arises, may have actually opened up a new box of trouble. Not only does she identify herself as an employee of the Trump Organization, but her letter to the public is on Trump Organization letterhead. If McIver wrote the speech as an employee of the company, it might mean Donald Trump is mixing his corporate resources with the campaign’s resources, a big no-no under Federal Election Commission rules.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate