CLEVELAND — Melania Trump returned to the Republican National Convention Thursday for the first time since her prime-time speech went viral with charges that she stole parts of it from a speech given by Michelle Obama.
A lot has happened since then — not the least of which, her husband, Donald Trump, became the party’s official nominee for president. Mrs. Trump was in the arena to watch her husband give his acceptance speech, perhaps the biggest speech of his very public life.
She watched the speech in the box reserved for Trump’s family, accompanied by her son, Barron, the youngest of Donald Trump’s children.
Delegates to the convention were forgiving.
“We all understand it was a mistake, and they owned up to it,” Georgia delegate Donna Rowe said. “I’m ready to move on.”
Mrs. Trump gave a moving speech to the convention Monday night, highlighting a personal side of her husband that many people have never seen. Much of the convention arena was enthralled.
However, several passages from the speech were nearly identical to one delivered by the first lady at the 2008 Democratic convention.
Almost immediately, social media went ballistic, erupting with charges of plagiarism and videos of the two speeches side-by-side.
The Trump campaign spent two days denying there was any plagiarism, calling the criticism absurd. Finally, on Wednesday, a speechwriter for Trump’s company issued a statement saying she was to blame.
The speechwriter, Meredith McIver, said Mrs. Trump had read excerpts of Mrs. Obama’s speech to her as examples of things she liked. McIver said she later included the passages in the speech she wrote for Mrs. Trump.