Breaking News Emails
The Trump organization staffer who has taken responsibility for the bungled speech that was supposed to be one of the most important at the RNC is a former ballerina and longtime trusted colleague of the GOP nominee.
Meredith McIver is listed as a co-author with Donald Trump on several of the books he's had his name on spanning more than a decade, including "Think Like a Billionaire," "Think Like a Champion," and "How to Get Rich."
According to a biography on a booking agency website that arranges speaking engagements for her, McIver has worked for the Trump Organization since 2001. The San Jose, California, native has an English degree from the University of Utah and has worked as an editor and writer, the biography said.
Breaking News Emails
It says her earliest career was as a ballet dancer: She began training at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet in New York at the age of 14. On the Internet Broadway Database, McIver has a credit as a cast member in the 1981 revival of "Can-Can."
In "How to Get Rich," Trump mentions McIver was his executive assistant at The Trump Organization and calls her a "writer of many talents" in the book's acknowledgements.
"As you know, my door is always open, so Meredith has heard everything, and she's taken good notes. She's done a remarkable job of helping me put my thoughts and experiences on paper. I am tremendously grateful to her," he wrote.
On Wednesday, McIver released a statement in which she said she had offered to resign for the "mistake" in Melania's Republican National Convention speech.
"In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama," McIver wrote in a typed letter printed on stationery with "Trump" letterhead in gold at the top.
"Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama's speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech," McIver wrote.
McIver apologized for the "confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused" and said Trump refused her offer of a resignation.
"Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences," she wrote.
The Trump campaign had insisted that Melania didn't plagiarize anything in her address, despite viewers who were quick to point out that it bore striking similarities to a 2008 Democratic National Convention speech by Michelle Obama.
On Tuesday, documents obtained by NBC News showed that the original draft of the speech didn't include the section apparently cribbed from Michelle Obama, raising suspicions that the passage had come from someone in the Trump campaign.
On Monday, hours before she gave the speech, Melania told TODAY she wrote it almost entirely on her own.
"I read it once over, and that's all because I wrote it with as little help as possible,'' she said.