Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016, in Cleveland.
Christopher Morris—VII for TIME
July 21, 2016 11:14 AM EDT

Donald Trump in a new interview said he didn’t let the speechwriter who wrote his wife’s scrutinized Republican National Convention speech resign because of how the staffer handled her error.

The Republican presidential nominee let Meredith McIver off the hook after she stepped up and took the blame for inadvertently including heavily borrowed passages from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech in her speech for Melania Trump.

“She’s been with me a long time. She’s a very good person. She came to see me because she hated to see the conflict, and she made a mistake,” Donald Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday. “You know, people make mistakes.”

“I thought it was terrific the way she came forward and just said, look it was a mistake that I made,” he added. “She thought it was very unfair to Melania.”

McIver, who has co-written books with the real estate mogul, on Wednesday issued a statement through Donald Trump’s campaign website, apologizing for the “hysteria” she caused.

McIver explained that she jotted down some passages from Obama’s speech after Melania Trump read them out loud on the telephone as examples for inspiration. She said she ended up including those passages in her final draft without checking the First Lady’s speeches. “This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama,” McIver said. “No harm was meant.”

McIver said she offered the Trumps her resignation but that they rejected it.

Donald Trump said he’s relieved his wife is no longer engulfed in the media firestorm that followed the speech. “She’s a strong woman. She’s a good woman. I thought she made an incredible speech. I thought she made a beautiful speech,” he said of Melania. “And now that cloud has lifted off her, which is terrific because it was very unfair.”

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