Plagiarised speech: Writer's offer to resign rejected

CLEVELAND • Ms Meredith McIver, an employee valued by Mr Donald Trump for her discretion and writing, took responsibility for the plagiarised portions of Mrs Melania's Trump's speech to the Republican National Convention.

But she wasn't fired.

"Yesterday, I offered my resignation to Mr Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it," Ms McIver wrote in a statement adorned with the Trump Organisation's gold-lettered logo.

"Mr Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences."

Mr Trump's handling of the episode gave a rare glimpse into the shrouded and deeply personal culture of his New York-based real estate conglomerate, the Trump Organisation, where three of his adult children serve as executives and many staff describe themselves as part of a family with a dominant patriarch.

Beyond the dramatic "you're fired" part of his persona, and his penchant for shaking up his high command in business or his presidential campaign, there is a 70-year-old businessman who places a premium on finding and keeping hires who are utterly devoted to him and his gilded kingdom of skyscrapers and golf courses.

According to her biography on a speakers' website, Ms McIver, 65, is a native of San Jose, California, and graduated from the University of Utah.

A MISTAKE

Yesterday, I offered my resignation to Mr Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it. Mr Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences.

MS MEREDITH MCIVER (above), who took responsibility for the plagiarised portions of Mrs Melania Trump's speech to the Republican National Convention.

She trained at the School of American Ballet in New York before finding her way into Mr Trump's orbit, working with him on several books and becoming a ghostwriter for him and his wife whenever they were readying public remarks.

Instead of responding promptly to the crisis that immersed his campaign in the early hours of Tuesday morning as the plagiarism became apparent, or dumping her for the lapse, Mr Trump was reluctant to reveal her role to the media, according to several people close to him.

When Ms McIver offered her resignation, Mr Trump, annoyed by the swirling media reports, promptly rejected it and told her that he valued her loyalty.

He reasoned that her departure would be disruptive at a company whose internal politics and organisation are critical to him, especially as he campaigns, said a person close to Mr Trump.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2016, with the headline 'Plagiarised speech: Writer's offer to resign rejected'. Print Edition | Subscribe