The Trump Organization staffer who took the fall for plagiarizing a section of Melania Trump’s speech at the GOP convention has been blamed for the family’s missteps before.
Ex-ballerina and current Trump speechwriter Meredith McIver released a statement on Wednesday claiming that she accidentally left portions of the 2008 convention address given by Michelle Obama in her draft of the RNC speech. Though Melania Trump had read the Obama lines her over the phone to McIver, citing them as a source of inspiration, Mciver said the plagiarism was her “mistake.”
According to the New York Times, McIver, who has co-authored titles like “How To Get Rich” and “Trump: Think Like A Billionaire” with the real estate tycoon, was also scapegoated by her employer in 2007.
During a deposition, Trump was asked if he intentionally overstated his debt by billions of dollars in several of his books to underscore the drama of his comeback.
Trump acknowledged that the numbers were off, but pointed his finger at McIver to explain how the inflated figures ended up being published.
“This is somebody that wrote it, probably Meredith McIver,” Trump said, according to the Times.
Associates of McIver and the Trumps told the Times that McIver was a “go-to person” for many Trump writing projects.
Trump said that this loyalty to the family was why he refused to accept the resignation that McIver said she offered.
“She is terrific, she’s a terrific woman,” he told the Times. “She’s been with us a long time and she just made a mistake.”
The Trump campaign scrambled to respond to the charges of plagiarism after Melania Trump’s addressed the RNC crowd on Monday, initially insisting that none of the language had been lifted from Michelle Obama’s speech. The full explanation from McIver was not released until Wednesday afternoon.