A united front. Ivanka Trump spoke with Today show host Savannah Guthrie on Thursday, July 21, following her stepmother Melania Trump’s controversial speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday, July 18.
“I love Melania so much and I am so proud of the job that she did,” Ivanka, 34, told Guthrie. “She’s a very private person and for her to come out on that stage and speak from the heart and share her story about coming to this country … This is such a personal experience for her and she shared it in such a graceful and articulate way, so I am enormously impressed with her ability to do that and have great respect for it.”
On Monday, Melania, 46, made headlines after she delivered a speech championing her husband, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, with several passages that struck many as too reminiscent of Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Amid cries of plagiarism, Trump Organization staff writer Meredith McIver stepped forward and took the fall for the PR blunder Wednesday.
“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,” McIver said in a statement. “A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. 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. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches.”
Real estate mogul-turned-candidate Trump, 70, praised McIver for taking ownership of her mistake and simultaneously blasted the media for their quick judgment of Melania in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“She just made a mistake, and I think it was terrific how she came forward and just said, ‘Look, it was a mistake that I made,’” the GOP presidential nominee said of McIver. “And she thought that it was very unfair to Melania, although, interestingly the press treated Melania very well because they didn’t think that it was her.”
Ivanka is set to introduce her father at the RNC in Cleveland on Thursday, July 21, a task that she said makes her “terrified.”
“I’ve never spoken in a stadium like this, but really I just want to make sure I do a great job for him,” she told Guthrie. “So it’s a real honor and a privilege that he asked me to do this, and I think it’s a testament to him as a parent.”