The Trump Campaign Didn’t Think Much of Melania’s Speech Either

Campaign filings show that you get what you pay for.

Carolyn Kaster/AP


When large sections of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention turned out to be lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, the Trump campaign tried to deflect criticism by throwing the speechwriter under the bus (after initially insisting Melania wrote the speech herself). The campaign went so far as to release an apology letter from the writer, Meredith McIver.

But in doing so, the campaign created another problem, because McIver doesn’t work for the campaign. She’s an employee of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump’s business empire. A basic rule of campaign finance is that if an employee of a corporation does work for a campaign, it counts as a corporate contribution, and corporations are not allowed to donate to campaigns.

To get around that, the campaign had to pay McIver for her work on Melania’s speech. In the latest campaign filings, McIver is listed on the payroll of the campaign—for a grand total of $356.01. The payment, which occurred on July 23, five days after the speech, marks the one and only time McIver has been paid by the campaign.

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.