No one at the White House is quite sure how it happened, but they sure do want to know how President Donald Trump ended up on the phone with a comedian. Trump found himself on John Melendez’s The Stuttering John Podcast. Apparently, Stuttering John called the White House, pretending to be Sen. Bob Menendez and ended up on a list of numbers for the president to call back, reports Politico.
It wasn’t routed through normal channels, but rather by the president’s own son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner. The office of legislative affairs would be the normal route for which a call like that would be put through, but they had no record of Menendez (D-N.J.) attempting to speak with the president. In fact, they’re the ones who found out that the senator wasn’t trying to contact the president and tried to make it known, but by then it was too late.
“A recording of what appears to be the president’s voice talking to who he seemingly believes to be Menendez can be heard on the podcast of John Melendez, also known as Stuttering John, a regular guest on shock jock Howard Stern’s radio show,” reports Politico.
— John Melendez (@stutteringjohnm) June 29, 2018
The original call asking to speak to the president was made using a fake British accent, claiming to be “Sean Moore” (a combination of James Bond actors, Sean Connery and Roger Moore), Sen. Menendez’s assistant. At the time, he wasn’t put through because they said the president was in North Dakota delivering a speech. Later on, he was called back by Kushner, as the comedian and a friend posed as the senator and his assistant and were put through to the president. While Politico wasn’t able to authenticate the recording, since the White House wouldn’t respond to their emailed request to do so, they did feel the recording sounded like him.
“Hi Bob. How are you? Congratulations on everything, we’re proud of you,” the voice that sounds like the president’s says after coming on the line. “Congratulations, great job. You went through a tough, tough situation, and I don’t think a very fair situation, but congratulations.” The two went on to discuss immigration and the soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
Later, an incredulous Melendez took to Twitter.
“I find it astounding that the news media’s not picking up the fact that I totally duped the President & got in touch within in less than 2 hours while he was on Air Force One. Shame on, NBC/, CNN & Huffington Post. I gave them a news story on their laps.”