Comedian “Stuttering John” Melendez called the White House public switchboard this week and, surprisingly, got through to speak to the president.
Feigning an English accent, Melendez called the White House as “Sean Moore,” a staffer for Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who wanted to speak to the president. He was told that President Donald Trump was currently speaking in Fargo, North Dakota, and would have to call him back at his number.
Melendez, who has worked with Howard Stern and Jay Leno, said that he spoke with Trump on numerous occasions when he was a private citizen. He revealed the details of his prank call on his podcast.
After leaving a message with a White House staffer, someone called him back to clarify the cell phone number, as the number did not match Bob Menendez’s office. Melendez said that he was on vacation, which is why the number had a California area code.
Hours later, Melendez says Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner called him from Air Force One while he was driving to a restaurant.
“I know it’s him because of his voice!” Melendez recalled later on his podcast. “I swear on my life!”
Kushner is a senior adviser for President Trump, tasked with working on Middle East peace, negotiations with Mexico, government technology reform, and criminal justice reform.
Melendez pretended to be Sen. Menendez during the call with Kushner and said he wanted to work with the president on immigration legislation.
“I just pulled the immigration thing out of my ass,” Melendez said afterward.
Trump called him back while he was aboard Air Force One, and Melendez added his producer to the call to record the audio.
“Hi Bob. How are you?” Trump said. “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.”
Melendez, pretending to be the Senator from New Jersey, said that he wanted to get something done on immigration.
Trump said on the phone he wanted to work on a “real” immigration reform with security at the border.
“It’s good for you, and it’s good for me, it’s good for both of us,” Trump said.
The president said he was currently traveling back from North Dakota on Air Force One but would be happy to discuss the issue later.
Melendez also brought up his upcoming decision on who will replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, saying that he would help the president as long as the pick wasn’t too conservative.
Trump said that he would pick from the list of conservative justices that he released during the campaign.