The Melania Trump plagiarism scandal that is the bright shiny object for the media is in its third day of the RNC Convention, which demonstrates that Team Trump does not know what the hell it is doing. Trump Campaign’s Shifting Story on Speech Raises New Questions.
Meredith McIver says the almost word-for-word lifting happened after Melania gave her passages, over the phone, from Michelle’s speech. McIver says she “wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech.”
As we first reported on Tuesday’s “TMZ Live” … Melania likes the First Lady and had watched some of her speeches for inspiration prior to her own speech in Cleveland.
Indeed, McIver says that’s exactly what happened, but the mistake occurred because, “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 has been a co-author on several of Donald Trump’s books. She says she attempted to resign on Tuesday, but Donald told her people make “innocent mistakes” and said she could learn and grow from the experience.
Wait, where’s Trump’s tag line from The Apprentice: “You’re fired!” Oh that’s right, IOKIYAR.
UPDATE: And one scandal leads to another potential scandal. Team Trump Released A Letter To Try To End Its Plagiarism Scandal. It May Backfire.
In a statement released on Wednesday, a staff writer for Donald Trump’s corporation took responsibility for the portions of Monday’s speech by Melania Trump that were lifted from a speech by Michelle Obama in 2008.
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The statement was printed not on campaign letterhead, but on Trump Organization letterhead. In it, Meredith McIver identified herself not as a campaign staffer, but as “an in-house staff writer at the Trump Organization.” She notes that she offered her resignation “to Mr. Trump and the Trump family,” but makes no mention of offering to resign from the Trump campaign.
Lawrence M. Noble, general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center and former general counsel to the Federal Election Commission, told ThinkProgress that letter “raised all kinds of questions about whether this has been illegal support.”
“His company is not supposed to be supporting his campaign,” Noble explained, which would be an illegal corporate contribution. While campaign disclosures have indicated that Trump for President has been paying the Trump Organization for some staff time, which is permissible under campaign finance law, Noble observed that “the lines are becoming very blurred.”
“Nowhere in here does she say she was working at the Trump campaign,” he added. “Then she talks about resigning, the implication is resigning from the company. Why would she be doing that if she was working for the campaign? This raises a lot of questions.”
If she had been doing the work on her own time as a volunteer, that would also be allowed. But Noble noted, in that situation, the statement should not have been on company letterhead. “They’d have been much better off if they’d put this on Trump campaign stationary and said she was working for the campaign.”