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July 20, 2016

Twitter users question existence of Melania Trump's speechwriter

Meredith McIver accepted blame for apparent plagiarism, but is she real?

Politics Elections
072016_MeredithMcIver Source/Facebook

Alleged photo of Trump speechwriter Meredith McIver.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says Meredith McIver is the speechwriter behind Melania Trump's controversial address on Monday night.

Related ArticleExplainer: The songs, and cartoon characters, swept up in Melania Trump's plagiarism scandal

In a statement released Wednesday, McIver admitted as much about the similarities between Trump's speech and the remarks given by Michelle Obama in 2008. 

Yet many observers on Twitter are suspicious about the seemingly scant evidence that McIver even exists, according to Mashable.

On Wednesday afternoon, several people began wondering why McIver would have such a small digital footprint if she were really in the position of political power she holds. 

After two days denying that Melania Trump's convention speech was plagiarized, Trump told ABC on Wednesday that McIver is a "terrific person" and should keep her job. 

"People make mistakes," Trump said. "We all make mistakes."

Eventually, this spawned the hashtag #DoesMeredithMcIverExist

One of the few people to come forward and verify the existence of McIver is former CNN host Piers Morgan, who said he's had frequent interactions with her. 

CNN also supplied what appears to be a photo of McIver, which appeared on her Facebook page. Another alleged photo of McIver is included in Trump's book "How to Get Rich," where Trump or his ghostwriter dedicated a paragraph to her. 

Other oddities include an Amazon author page for McIver that shows Trump collaborations — but no photo or bio — and deleted account with the All American Speakers Bureau

In a New York Times story on Melania's gaffe, McIver is referenced as a New York City-based former ballet dancer and English major. At no point, however, did the newspaper have contact with McIver. She didn't respond to a request for comment. 

It's far from clear why the Trump campaign wouldn't accept responsibility for Melania's speech and name an actual person behind the error. Then again, Trump does have a long, strange history of using fake names. Eventually, McIver will have to appear in some way if she's real.