A comedian claims to have spoken for several minutes with US President Donald Trump by pretending to be Senator Robert Menendez while on board Air Force One.
The incident happened on Wednesday, when John Melendez, a veteran performer on Howard Stern and Jay Leno’s shows received a call back from the President himself after a series of longshot prank calls to the White House switchboard.
Melendez pretending to be Senator Menendez spoke to the President's son-in-law Jared Kushner and received a call back from Trump on Thursday.
"I am shocked ... I mean we did this as a goof, I'm a comedian," Melendez, better known as Stuttering John, told CNN on Friday. "I just could not believe that it took us an hour-and-a-half to get Kushner and Trump on the phone from Air Force One."
Menendez is a Democratic senator from New Jersey and a long-time campaigner for immigration reform.
Melendez recorded his conversations with the President and uploaded on his podcast. At the start of the purported call, the voice that is purportedly Trump congratulates Menendez on his acquittal in a federal corruption case, saying: "You went through a tough, tough situation, and I don't think a very fair situation. But congratulations."
The senator was accused of accepting gifts from a Florida eye doctor in exchange for political influence.
The two also discussed the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy, according to the audio on the podcast. The voice that sounds like Trump promises the fake Menendez he'll nominate a new justice in "10 to 14 days".
The prank caller said that his plan could have easily gone wrong. "All they had to ask me is what party affiliation is Senator Menendez, or what state is he a senator of, and I would not have known. But they didn't ask me any of this," Melendez told CNN.
Melendez said that they initially called the White House and were honest about their identity, but officials said Trump was busy and hung up. So they called again, but this time as "Shawn Moore," a fake assistant to Menendez.
Later, when the White House made inquiries with Menendez's office about the conversation Trump thought he had with him on Thursday, the senator's staff were befuddled, reports said.