Filed under: Conspiracy Theories, Fact or Fiction?, Fraud and Deception, Media Literacy, Prank News
In one of many remarkable moments in this year’s Republican National Convention, potential First Lady Melania Trump delivered a speech blatantly plagiarized from incumbent First Lady Michelle Obama. A little-known Donald Trump speechwriter named Meredith McIver showed up to take the blame, sparking conspiracy theories. And things have stayed weird.
“Who’s Impersonating Melania Trump’s Plagarist Meredith McIver?”
by Gideon Resnick
The Daily Beast
August 2, 2016
Meredith McIver, a former ballerina turned Donald Trump co-author, is definitely a real person. But her social media persona, which came into being after she took the blame for Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech, definitely is not.
The account @imeredithmciver began tweeting on July 20, the day after Melania Trump’s prime-time Republican National Convention speech was upended by the revelation that she had cribbed some lines from an address by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. And it is still posing as McIver to this day, with no comment or pushback from the Trump campaign.
As the campaign is in the throes of daily sparring with a Gold Star family, fire marshals, and even the speaker of the House, there’s been no acknowledgment of the fake social media presence of McIver, who told The Daily Beast she has no online presence. Multiple people have emailed The Daily Beast claiming to have some knowledge about the mysterious appearance of the account, ranging from abject satire to claims the Trump campaign is actually behind it.
“I just wanted to set the record straight. @realDonaldTrump is a wonderful man,” the account tweeted just as McIver was getting roped into the burgeoning scandal. With her social media proclamation, the account included a photoshopped image of McIver and Trump standing next to each other in his office.
After initially dismissing the plagiarism allegations—at one point the Trump campaign blamed Hillary Clinton’s people for their own messy work—McIver revealed that she was to blame for the mishap.
“This was my mistake,” McIver wrote in a July 20 letter with the Trump Organization logo embossed on the top. “Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences.” She claimed that she offered her resignation and Trump simply would not accept.
And just like that McIver was gone. She didn’t make any more public statements. She didn’t appear as one of Trump’s surrogates on television as the convention wore on. No reporter seemed to be able to get a face-to-face interview with her.
Yet her alleged Twitter account was active, promoting positive messages about Trump and responding to numerous incredulous reporters who wondered if McIver was in fact a real human being.
She is. Read more.