June 29, 2018

Howard Stern's sidekick "Stuttering John" Melendez managed to get through White House security and connect with Donald Trump on Air Force One, where he chatted him up for around five minutes while pretending to be Senator Bob Menendez.

It took awhile for media to pick up on it. The news cycle has been rather brutal this week, but they finally have.

Axios:

Melendez, the host, had three different interactions with two White House operators and got through two call screens before Jared Kushner called him from Air Force One. According to Melendez, Kushner asked if he wanted to talk to the president then or have them call him back later, which is what he did.

The details: When the White House operator calls back, he says: "Hello is this Sen. Menendez?" and then "Hello is this Air Force One?"

President Trump picked up the phone congratulating who he thought was Sen. Menendez and telling him he "went through a very tough situation."

They stayed on the phone for around five minutes, discussing everything from the North Dakota Senate race ("tough race") to immigration policy to the timeline for announcing his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The cynical part of me wonders if this was something of a setup, given Trump's relationship with Howard Stern over the years. I can imagine Trump thinking this was a way to capture some eyeballs in the news, and apparently "stuttering John" was annoyed that they didn't do anything with it yesterday, at the very same time reporters were struggling to get the news out about a mass shooting that killed 5 people at a local newspaper.

But that's just me. Take it for what you think it is.

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