Melania Trump's speech at the GOP convention in Cleveland is drawing comparisons to Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Here's a side-by-side look at both. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

It's safe to say that we could have probably gone the entire presidential campaign without mentioning her name.

But on Wednesday, Meredith McIver, a self-described "longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family" and a staff writer for Trump's main holding company, the Trump Organization -- not for the campaign -- apologized for inadvertently plagiarizing a part of Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention speech for Melania Trump's speech. She said she had offered her resignation, and that it was refused by the Trumps:

Here's what we know about this relatively unknown woman in Trump's orbit who is now in the national spotlight:

She's had ties to the Trump organization for a very long time: McIver has been a member of the Trump Organization -- the principal holding company for all of Trump's interests -- since at least 2001.

She's a full-time staff writer there, and not, it seems, a paid member of his campaign, which raises questions about whether Trump violated campaign finance laws in using her help.

"If Trump used corporate resources to write a political speech, that could be illegal," my colleague Philip Bump reports.

The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson explains the controversy surrounding aspiring first lady Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention, including how the Trump campaign has responded to accusations that she plagiarized first lady Michelle Obama's speech. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

She's a registered Democrat: And has been since 1996, before she joined Team Trump, according to WKYC.

She's a "trusted hand" for Melania Trump: McIver's name --among others -- started popping up in the press soon after the speeches were compared side by side. The New York Times did its best to track down how the final version speech came about. They found no smoking gun but did, at one point, briefly mention McIver helped Melania Trump reframe the speech.

It was Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, who commissioned the speech from Mr. Scully and Mr. McConnell — and praised their draft. But Ms. Trump decided to revise it, and at one point she turned to a trusted hand: Meredith McIver, a New York City-based former ballet dancer and English major who has worked on some of Mr. Trump’s books, including “Think Like a Billionaire.It was not clear how much of a hand Ms. McIver had in the final product, and she did not respond to an email on Tuesday.

She's loyal to Trump and vice versa: Our own Robert Costa reports it's not a surprise Trump didn't fire her:

"While he can be extremely volatile in both public and private and prone to dismissing top lieutenants and shaking up his high command, Trump has deep affection discreet longtime lower-tier employees like McIver who have devoted themselves to him. Many of his staffers in Trump Tower have been with him for decades."

She's a co-author and ghostwriter for the Trumps: McIver's main known role, it seems, is helping Trump write some of his books -- at least five, by our count.

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She's listed as a co-author in his 2004 book "Trump: How to Get Rich." and according to a bio on Speakerpedia, a site to find motivational speakers, it seems like she played a key role in helping him organize and write his thoughts:

In "Trump: How to Get Rich," Ms. McIver assists in presenting Trump's lessons learned from "The Apprentice," his real estate empire, his position as head of the 20,000-member Trump Organization, and his most important role, as a father who has successfully taught his children the value of money and hard work.

On Amazon, she's listed as a co-author of at least five Trump books:


She's a former ballet dancer: According Speakerpedia, she trained at the School of American Ballet, the official training school for the New York City Ballet company

The bio also says she's originally from San Jose, Calif., and got her degree in English at the University of Utah.

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