Donald Trump's presidential campaign doesn't plan to fire anybody or to take disciplinary action over the controversy surrounding Melania Trump's plagiarism of Michelle Obama, CNN learned Tuesday.
Aides to the presumptive Republican nominee are scrambling to move past the imbroglio after a passage in Melania Trump's speech Monday night, which headlined the Republican National Convention's opening night, closely mirrored a portion of Michelle Obama's address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
Trump's aides chalked the controversy up to media bias and blamed Hillary Clinton's campaign -- even though the apparent plagiarism was discovered by an independent journalist and had gone viral before Clinton's allies and Democrats even weighed in.
After repeatedly denying that elements of a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama were used in Melania Trump's address on the first night of the Republican National Convention, an employee of the Trump Organization took responsibility for the flap on Wednesday.
In a statement issued by the Trump campaign, staff writer Meredith McIver accepted responsibility for the addition of the now-first lady's words in the speech.
In her statement, McIver said Melania Trump "always liked" Mrs. Obama and read passages from the 2008 speech to McIver, who says she wrote them down and included them in the speech.
"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," wrote McIver.
Last night, Stephen Colbert, like everyone else on the Internet, was talking about Melania Trump's plagiarized-ish RNC speech. He does not―not!―think his good friend Melania lifted lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 DNC speech...and he had the First Lady-hopeful on the show to defend herself. Mrs. Trump read a statement written by the same staff members responsible for her RNC speech―her.
Tony-winning actress Laura Benanti does a mean Melania―she already looks the part, which Colbert noticed back in March, but her impression is perfection. My fellow Americans, Laura Melania Trump Benanti is gonna be huuuuge.
Melania Trump, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, has rejected suggestions that she violated visa rules when she started working as a model in New York.
The owner of one modelling agency, Paolo Zampolli, says he sponsored Mrs Trump for an H1B work visa in 1996. She has said that she had to go back to her native Slovenia every few months to renew her permit - something that is only generally necessary for tourist and business visas that do not permit work.
Our correspondent says the confusion has the potential to do significant damage to Mr Trump's campaign, given his robust views on illegal immigrants.
He has also railed against the use of the H1B visa specifically, suggesting abuse of it is widespread and rampant.
Melania Trump's transition from wealthy inhabitant of Trump Tower to potential inhabitant of the White House has not been an easy one. First, there was the revelation that her convention speech lifted sections of Michelle Obama's speech eight years earlier and, more recently, questions about how she immigrated to the United States. But even before her convention speech, she was viewed skeptically by the public. After the conventions? It hasn't improved.
In the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, we asked people to offer their opinions of the four people involved in the campaign who aren't at the top of the tickets: the spouses and running mates of Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Bill Clinton was (predictably) the best known of the four, with more than half of respondents having a positive opinion of him. Melania Trump was slightly better known than either of the vice-presidential picks but also viewed more negatively. Her net favorability — those viewing her positively minus those viewing her negatively — is a plus-1, meaning that she's viewed about as positively as negatively. By contrast, vice-presidential picks Tim Kaine and Mike Pence had net favorabilities of plus-19 and plus-17, respectively.