In completely normal news – a comedian and podcaster says he successfully pulled a prank call on US President Donald Trump on the Air Force One for almost four minutes. John Melendez known on his podcast as Stuttering John reckons he got Trump good by pretending to be the very real Democratic Senator Robert ‘Bob’ Menendez from New Jersey.
You may know Melendez for his time on The Howard Stern Show in the early 00s.
Regardless of your thoughts on Trump right now – how does a comedian just prank call the President of the United States of America? Well, let’s have a look.
So overnight, Melendez went and posted this on his twitter:
It's up. Episode 8, me with my good friend Donald Trump.https://t.co/lfQkNTCSZq— John Melendez (@stutteringjohnm) June 28, 2018
Things are a bit suss because that link to the podcast is now broken but it’s still working well on his website, The Stuttering John Podcast.
At first, Melendez calls the White House using his mate’s phone and uses his real name. To not much surprise, the bloke’s immediately declined by an amused staffer. At this time Trump had been flying back from a rally in North Dakota. So then, Melendez tells the audience he’s going to call the White House again but this time, he’ll use his own phone.
The prank begins.
At first, Melendez pretends to be “Sean Moore calling for Bob Menendez”.
Sean’s an assistant who’s totally met Trump a bunch of times. Sean also has a foul British accent.
Anyway, this White House operator puts Melendez on hold for a couple of minutes before the call connects to the White House signal operator. This one informs him, yet again, that Trump’s busy so they offer to call Melendez back when the President’s free. So Melendez accepts the offer and the phone call ends much to his shock at making it this far. He reckons the prank is doomed because the White House will surely double check with the actual senator’s office.
Lo and bloody behold, the White House call him back to verify his phone number and question why he has a Californian area code when ‘Sean Moore’ is assistant to a New Jersey senator. Sean’s number also isn’t coming up as one of Senator Menendez’s official contacts.
So then, Melendez tells the operator “it’s only because we’re on vacation” and that’s it, he’s through.
Fast forward a couple of minutes and Melendez claims senior adviser and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner called him to ask about what Senator Menendez wants with Trump. Melendez tells Kushner he wants to talk about immigration to which Kushner answers, “OK cool, I’ll tell him.”
Then it happens, Melendez is on the phone to someone who sounds very much like Donald Trump.
The actual conversation itself is just that, a conversation – they literally talk about Trump’s immigration policy and the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court.
You can listen to just the conversation, below:
A White House insider told Politico staff are absolutely baffled as to how the prank call could have taken place. This insider says the call was routed to Trump by Kushner and not routed through the office of legislative affairs, which has absolutely no record of Senator Menendez trying to call the president. However, legislative affairs were notified of the prank call and tried to kill it but it was still somehow put through.
Senator Menendez – the real one – has since issued a statement saying he’d “welcome any opportunity to have a real conversation with the president on how to uphold the American values that have guided our family-based immigration policy for the past century”.
Trump has yet to publicly react to the prank.
The podcast is bloody wild so if you want to listen to it for yourself then skip ahead to 34:00 for the prank to begin.