NY Times, AP

What We Know About How Melania Trump’s Speech, Which Borrowed From an Earlier Michelle Obama Speech, Was Written — and Who Has Stepped Forward to Take the Blame

Jul 20, 2016  •  Post A Comment

In an investigation into how Melania Trump wound up delivering a high-profile speech Monday night that has triggered accusations of plagiarism, The New York Times reports that the wife of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump apparently rewrote the speech she was originally given by the professional speechwriters working for the Trump campaign.

“The speechwriters, Matthew Scully and John McConnell, sent Ms. Trump a draft last month, eager for her approval,” The Times reports. “Weeks went by. They heard nothing.

“Inside Trump Tower, it turned out, Ms. Trump had decided she was uncomfortable with the text, and began tearing it apart, leaving a small fraction of the original.”

The report adds: “It did not go as planned, and it has eclipsed much of the action at the party gathering in Cleveland, where delegates on Tuesday night formally nominated Mr. Trump for president.”

The Times interviewed more than a dozen sources in or near the Trump campaign for its in-depth report, which concludes that the avoidable misstep “reinforces dominant themes of Mr. Trump’s campaign that still linger from the primary, which his team has struggled to change: a deliberately bare-bones campaign structure, a slapdash style and a reliance on the instincts of the candidate over the judgments of experienced political experts, like Mr. Scully and Mr. McConnell.”

The AP reports that Trump speechwriter Meredith McIver has stepped forward to take the blame for the mistake, and has apologized. Trump has reportedly turned down her offer to resign.

McIver reportedly explained, referring to Melania Trump: “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.”

Click on the link near the top of this story to read The New York Times’ full report.

The New York Times also published separately a compilation of the various things the Trump campaign has said about the Melania Trump speech, many denying any plagiarizing. Click here to read that report.

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