A prank caller posing as Senator Bob Menendez managed to get through to President Donald Trump while he was flying on Air Force One. ‘Stuttering John’ Melendez, a regular on the Howard Stern Show, posted his recorded conversation with Trump on his podcast.
The exchange begins with Trump congratulating the New Jersey lawmaker for surviving his Obama-era bribery indictment. Trump said the corruption charges that Menendez faced were unfair in the prank phone call and told the person he thought was the senator, “we’re proud of you.”
“Hi Bob, how are you?” Trump said as the conversation began. “How are you? Congratulations on everything, we’re proud of you. Congratulations, great job. You went through a tough, tough situation and I don’t think a very fair situation, but congratulations.”
The two conversed about the immigration and a vacancy on the Supreme Court resulting from Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision to step down at the end of July, Trump saying he will designate a nominee in the next 10 to 14 days.
The fake call was confirmed by the White House Legislative Affairs Office after a follow up with Menendez’s office on Thursday revealed the New Jersey Democrat’s staffers were confused, saying they had no idea what it was all about.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner arranged for the comedian to receive a call back after the White House was notified that the senator wanted to speak to the president.
“The President wants to be accessible to members and likes engaging them and wants them to have the opportunity to connect. The downside of that is sometimes the channels are open too widely and mistakes like this happen,” a White House official said in a statement to CNN
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels, added Melendez to his stable of clients, after the comedian claimed his prank call Trump brought Secret Service agents to his door.
“I guess my old friend Donald wants to continue this,” said Melendez in a post on Twitter.
“Instead of wasting time on this, Mr. Trump should focus on the numerous other things that are of a greater priority,” said Avenatti. “Let’s start with reuniting over 2,000 children with their parents immediately.”
Menendez won his New Jersey primary by a narrow margin against challenger Lisa McCormick, a local newspaper publisher who earned 158,335 votes on June 5 without spending a vast sum of money.
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