“The Mystery of Meredith McIver”: it sounds like the title of a badly written novel, the same kind of formulaic prose to be found in Donald Trump’s books or, perhaps, in his wife’s speeches.
If we are to believe the Trump campaign, the blame for one of the largest and most obvious cases of plagiarism in the history of American politics comes down to one woman who is hiding in the shadows.
The pleasingly alliterative name of Donald Trump’s employee, the woman who supposedly helped to write Melania Trump’s speech for the RNC and which turned out to contain passages that matched Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech word for word, has no verified Twitter account and no LinkedIn profile.
At the time of writing, no credible news outlet has tracked down Meredith McIver.
Mr Trump, normally so keen to show off his “beautiful ladies”, has kept this ghost writer hauntingly silent.
There is growing speculation that the name is simply an alias, a fictional name for the Trump campaign to hide behind as Republicans and Democrats alike are furious that the potential First Lady has fluffed her first major appearance.
Is this another of Mr Trump’s scams, surrounding himself with make believe friends?
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
The press have barely recovered from the discovery that Mr Trump’s so-called spokesperson, John Barron, who gave frequent over-the-phone interviews and exposed all kind of personal details about the businessman, was Mr Trump himself.
But it turns out that Meredith McIver, who released this profusely apologetic and rather absurd statement, has not just written one bad speech.
According to her author page, she has co-written books including “Trump 101”, “Trump Thinks Like A Billionaire” and “Trump Never Give Up” - the latter title being horrendously grammatically incorrect but perhaps a good strategy for the aftermath of this plagiarism faux pax.
Everyone, put your thinking caps on. Her name begins with M. The letter “M”.
Which other employee amongst the Trump campaign begins with M? Not Hope Hicks. Not Corey Lewanski. Not Paul Manaf—
What an irony that Ms McIver could - who knows - turn out to be a man: the Republicans do so little to support gender fluidity.