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Trump speechwriter takes blame for plagiarized Melania Trump speech portions

Trump tweets on Melania
Trump rejects speechwriter's resignation 25:43

Melania Trump didn't plagiarize her Monday night Republican convention speech from Michelle Obama -- but her speechwriter did.

At least, that's according to an official statement from said speechwriter, Meredith McIver, who said it was her "mistake" for lifting portions of Trump's address from the 2008 convention speech Obama gave.

McIver, who identified herself as an "in-house staff writer at the Trump Organization" and also "a longtime friend and admirer" of the Trumps, explained Wednesday, "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."

Notably, McIver said Mrs. Trump had identified that "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," she wrote. "I did not check Mrs. Obama's 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. No harm was meant."

McIver, a former ballet dancer who has ghost written four books by the GOP nominee, said she offered her resignation to the Trumps Tuesday, but "they rejected it."

"Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences," she wrote. "I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused."

The statement puts to rest the two-day old controversy regarding Melania Trump's speech, after much hemming-and-hawing from various Trump campaign officials.

Trump campaign denies Melania Trump plagiarism claims 08:23

Campaign chair Paul Manafort denied the speech was plagiarized in media interviews, telling "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday that "there aren't that many similarities" to the convention speech Michelle Obama gave.

"Frankly, this was her vision of what she wanted to communicate about her husband," Manafort said. Previously, Trump had said of the speech, "I wrote it -- with a little help as possible."

And in a separate interview with CNN, Manafort called it "crazy" to think that Trump "would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words."

He seemed to pin the press scrutiny of Melania Trump's words on presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"This is, once again, an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down," he said. "It's not going to work."

The Republican nominee, for his part, lauded the media attention paid to his wife's speech, regardless of the negative press.

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