Meredith McIver, a Trump organization staffer and contributor to Melania Trump’s speech given Monday at the Republican National Convention, offered her resignation after she admitted to plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech given in 2008. Donald and Melania Trump showed mercy, rejecting McIver’s resignation.
McIver said her mistake occurred when she gathered portions of Obama’s speech during a phone discussion with Melania Trump.
“Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples,” according to CNN. “I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing 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 Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.”
Michelle Obama and Melania Trump’s speeches held key phrases seen to be strikingly similar.
The following phrase is one Michelle Obama said in her speech: “Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Melania’s recent speech stated much of the same: “Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Incidents like these caused the plagiarism accusations.
Lane Williams, a faculty member of the communication department at BYU-Idaho, said if this incident had happened to a student at BYU-I, the minimum a student would receive from him would be an “F” on that particular assignment.
43 percent of undergraduates admitted to cheating on a written assignment or test, according to a survey on plagarism.com provided by the International Center for Academic Center.
“For me, it depends on the level of severity,” Williams said. “But if I thought there were plagiarism, for sure we’d be having a conversation.”
He said further action could be taken with students, including severe consequences.
“It’s very serious,” Williams said. “It very often involves a trip to the dean and can lead to expulsion from the university as a violation of the code of honor.”
Williams said this isn’t the first time plagiarism among politicians has happened.
“Other politicians, including Joe Biden, have made this mistake and it’s good that we know about it,” Williams said. “It’s something that we need to take in consideration among all the other things about a person’s character as we make decisions about who’s going to be president or represent us and I think that’s a good way to look at it.”