In prank call, Trump congratulates and sympathizes with Sen. Menendez
WASHINGTON — The phone call by John Melendez, aka Stuttering John, to the White House posing as an aide to U.S. Bob Menendez earned him a visit from the Secret Service early on Saturday morning.
The former member of the Howard Stern show claimed on his podcast to have called the White House, identified himself as an aide to New Jersey's senior senator and got a return call from Air Force One on Wednesday as the president returned from an appearance in North Dakota.
A friend posed as Menendez and talked to President Donald Trump, according to an account of the call by Politico.
Melanie Schmitz, an editor at the news site ThinkProgress, posted a transcript of the call on her Twitter account. In their conversation, "Menendez" asks Trump about what his next step on immigration will be after his executive order and his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Trump also congratulated Menendez and said he thought Menendez was treated unfairly — most likely a reference to the failed federal corruption prosecution against the Democrat.
Melendez in a series of messages early Saturday morning on his Twitter account said he was about to be arrested by the Secret Service.
"They should arrest Jared Kushner for putting the call through. Shame on Donald Trump who has been a friend of mine for years," Melendez tweeted.
Melendez said he was at an undisclosed location and that Trump was well aware of his role on Stern's show. Melendez is known for attending news conferences and media events on behalf of the Stern show and asking inappropriate questions. The results would be played back on Stern's show.
"I made a living at pretending I’m a reporter, which Donald trump knows, & was a fan of, why would he have me arrested for duping him," Melendez wrote.
According to Politico, Melendez used the name "Sean Moore" — a combination of James Bond actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore —during his first call to the White House posing as a Menendez aide
The Office of Legislative Affairs caught onto the call when they realized the real Menendez was not on the phone but could not cut the call.