Monday night, Melania Trump gave a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Melania was later accused of having plagiarized segments of her convention speech from Michelle Obama. In the wake of this news, Willamette Week contributor Curtis Cook flew back to his hometown to conduct a face-to-face interview with the possible first lady.
The two met at the Rally's on Carnegie Avenue. Much to their surprise, the shake machine was working, which is a rarity for any Rally's establishment. Curtis had a classic vanilla shake, though Melania opted for a strawberry shake.
Below is the unabridged transcript of their conversation. The slurping noises have been redacted.
Curtis Cook: Hello, Melania. First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I know that you're very busy, so I'll just get right to it: You're facing accusations of having plagiarized parts of a speech previously given by Michelle Obama back in 2008. Do you think this will be bad for your husband's campaign?
Melania Trump: I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere that seems to know what to do and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our T.V.s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy.
Curtis Cook: That very well may be, Melania. But as a religious woman, doesn't it bother you that some feel you were caught not only stealing someone else's words, but also lying to the public about the authenticity of your speech?
Melania Trump: There's this passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. 'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.'
I been saying that shit for years. And if you heard it, that meant your ass. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was some cold-blooded shit to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this morning made me think twice. See, now I'm thinking, maybe it means you're the evil man, and I'm the righteous man, and Mr. 9 millimeter here, he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is, you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
Curtis Cook: As much as I appreciate your passion, I must say that I really don't appreciate being insulted like that. I'm also going to have to ask you to answer the questions directly. After all, it's not just the American people who are looking for answers. It's all mankind.
Melania Trump: "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
Curtis Cook: Look, Melania, that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Please stop dodging these questions. I flew here from Portland, and I would really like some answers.
Melania Trump: You want answers?
Curtis Cook: I think I'm entitled to.
Melania Trump: You want answers.
Curtis Cook: I want the truth!
Melania Trump: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
Curtis Cook: You know, considering your husbands platform, it's funny you should mention walls.
Melania Trump: What do you mean I'm funny?
Curtis Cook: No, not that you're funny. Just that it's funny you would say that.
Melania Trump: What do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What?
Curtis Cook: I think you're misunderstanding me, Melania.
Melania Trump: You mean—let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe—but I'm funny how? I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?
Curtis Cook: Goddamnit, Melania. You know what? Let's just finish these milkshakes and call it a day.
Melania Trump: Drainage.
Curtis Cook: What?
Melania Trump: Drainage!
Curtis Cook: Oh no. Oh sweet god, no. The milkshakes. I should've seen this coming. Please, Melania, you don't have to do this.
Melania Trump: Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I'm so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake…
Curtis Cook: Please stop, Melania
Melania Trump: …and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching?
Curtis Cook: Please.
Melania Trump: And my straw reaches across the room, and starts to drink your milkshake…
Curtis Cook: Don't.
Melania Trump: I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!!!!!!!