Finally on Wednesday afternoon, the Trump campaign decided to tell the truth. At least this sounds like it could be the truth. Two professional speech writers submitted their draft. Donald Trump didn't like it, spent a week, crossing things out, trying to rewrite it himself, and then finally abandoned it. Then a Trump organization staff writer (not a campaign staffer) Meredith McIver, who has ghost written at least three of Trump's more recent books, agreed to work with Melania to write a speech.
In their collaboration, Melania read to her over the phone some lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech that she liked and wanted to use "as inspiration" for her own speech, saying that she had always admired Michelle. McIver wrote down lines -- and then they just got incorporated into the speech without any attribution. She now feels terrible for not checking the source and was not aware that it was a direct quote. McIver has reportedly offered her resignation, and Donald Trump refused to accept it.
That's believable. But it doesn't change anything I wrote yesterday about this as emblematic of problems in the Trump campaign. And it adds another: Trump's basic dishonesty, which pervades the campaign. Simply telling the truth initially, along with an apology to Mrs. Obama, and the story would have been gone in a day. Instead, it caused all kinds of subtle and pervasive harm. Politics 101: a cover-up attempt always, only makes it worse.