Cleveland: Donald Trump has termed as an "innocent mistake" the plagiarism surrounding his wife Melania's speech at the Republican national convention as the party's presidential nominee rejected the resignation by the speechwriter.
Meredith McIver, an in-house Trump staff speechwriter, had apologised for the plagiarism in the first address by Melania to the party members here in a bid to project the real estate tycoon and reality TV star as a serious-minded family man and unite the still divided opinion within the party.
Melania's speech on Tuesday was initially widely appreciated before the lifting of sentences verbatim from a 2008 speech First Lady Michelle Obama made at a Democratic national convention came to light, triggering an embarrassing plagiarism row.
"I offered my resignation to Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences," McIver said.
"I personally admire the way Trump has handled this situation and I am grateful for his understanding," she said in a statement issued by the Trump Campaign in the first sign of acknowledgment of similarities between the speeches as more than just coincidence.
McIver, who identified herself as a staff writer at the Trump Organisation and not a campaign employee, said: "In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wants to share with the American people."
She added that Melania had "always liked Michelle Obama" and "over the phone, she read some passages from Michelle's speech as examples" of what she wanted to tell the convention.
"I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasings in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs Obama's speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused. No harm was meant," McIver said.
"I apologise for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused, Today. More than ever, I am honoured to work for such a great family," she said.