The writer for the Trump Organization, who took the blame for Melania Trump’s 2016 Republican National Convention speech plagiarism controversy, is a former ballerina, a registered Democrat and originally hails from San Jose, the same city that erupted in violence when Donald Trump campaigned here before the California primary.
Not much is known about her early Silicon Valley roots, but on Wednesday, Meredith McIver’s name was fast becoming a household word. McIver offered to resign from the Trump campaign for lifting 63 words from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech and putting them into the mouth of the woman who hopes to replace the first lady.
“This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama,” McIver, 65, said, apologizing for a speech that turned Melania Trump into an instant internet meme. “No harm was meant.”
But McIver also made it very clear that Melania Trump knew the passages belonged to Michelle Obama.
"A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama," McIver said. "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."
Others from San Jose say it puts a stain on the city.
"I think it's just embarrassing not only for the writer herself but also for San Jose," said Rawan Ammouri, who calls the South Bay city home. "I mean you're representing us, and you're making us look bad."
In her letter, McIver calls herself a “longtime friend and admirer of the Trump rally.”
McIver’s biography on the AllAmericanSpeakers.com describes her as a “close associate to the world famous real estate titan and recent TV Impresario Donald Trump.”
She co-authored the bestseller, "Trump: How to Get Rich," with Donald Trump as well as other Trump self-help books such as, "Think Like a Champion," "Trump Never Give Up," "Trump: Think Like a Billionaire" and "Trump 101, The Way to Success."
According to her biography, Trump wrote “How to Get Rich” after NBC asked him to star in “The Apprentice.” The book delves into the lessons Trump imparted on the show, his real estate empire and his role as a father.
“With his luxury buildings, award-winning golf courses, high-stakes casinos, and glamorous beauty pageants, Donald J. Trump is one of a kind in American business. Every day, he lives the American dream. Now Ms. McIver will show you how he's done it!” her bio says.
An English major from the University of Utah, McIver’s bio says she has been a member of the Trump Organization since September 2001. Before that she worked on Wall Street and has also had stints as an editor and writer, it says. The site says that she started her career when she was 14 as a Ford Foundation Scholar, training at George Balachine's School of American Ballet.
Media reports indicate she currently lives in the Upper West Side in New York City.
McIver seems to have no social media presence whatsoever – a presumably fake Facebook page with her name was created Wednesday, and the only post so far is the apology letter she penned on stationery with the "Trump" letterhead in gold.