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Comedian: Unbelievable Trump didn't recognize

A comedian, John Melendez, pretending to be Sen. Bob Menendez for a bit says he got through to President Donald Trump, who called him back from Air Force One. CNN's Sara Ganim spoke with the comedian.

Posted: Jul 1, 2018 6:42 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2018 6:56 PM

A comedian pretending to be Sen. Bob Menendez for a bit says he got through to the President, who called him back from Air Force One.

"I am shocked ... I mean we did this as a goof, I'm a comedian," said John Melendez, better known as Stuttering John. "I just could not believe that it took us an hour and a half to get Jared Kushner and Donald Trump on the phone from Air Force One."

At the start of the purported call, the voice that sounds like Trump congratulates who he thought was 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 two also discuss 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."

"All they had to ask me is what party affiliation is Sen. 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 told CNN that they initially called the White House and were honest about their identity, but the White House said Trump was busy and hung up.

So they called again, but this time as "Shawn Moore," a fake assistant to Menendez.

"I changed my voice to an English accent. I do the worst English accent in the history of English accents. So I said, 'Yeah, this is Shawn Moore, Sen. Menendez's assistant, and we'd like to talk to the President.' They said they'd call me back, and then they called back on cellphone," Melendez recalled.

According to audio that aired on Melendez's podcast, Trump called while flying on Air Force One on his way back from his rally in Fargo, North Dakota, on Wednesday night.

"Donald picks up the phone and I started talking to the President. I never said to Donald that I was Sen. Menendez. I was just talking in my Long Island accent. The thing is, you hear my bad Long Island accent and a voice that Donald has talked to so many times," Melendez said.

"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 about the incident.

A source said someone in the White House Legislative Affairs Office reached out to Menendez's office Thursday morning about the phone call. The source said the New Jersey Democrat's staffers were very confused and didn't know what it was about. They haven't talked to the White House since the recording came out.

Another White House aide also acknowledged the call happened. This aide said White House legislative director Marc Short apparently shot down the call initially. But the aide said senior adviser Jared Kushner "patched the call through anyways."

"As someone who has spent my entire career trying to convince Republicans to join me in reforming our nation's broken immigration system, I welcome any opportunity to have a real conversation with the President on how to uphold the American values that have guided our family-based immigration policy for the past century. Tearing children apart from their mothers is not part of our proud history. Thus far, this White House has only sabotaged every good-faith effort to find bipartisan common ground on immigration," Menendez said in a statement.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 297321

Reported Deaths: 6805
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19814231
Hinds18949395
Harrison16886282
Rankin12842265
Jackson12750234
Lee9720163
Madison9516204
Jones8035148
Forrest7289138
Lauderdale6872228
Lowndes6061140
Lamar593381
Lafayette5767114
Washington5232130
Bolivar4630124
Oktibbeha443095
Panola433698
Pearl River4212132
Warren4144115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall405995
Monroe3996129
Union397174
Neshoba3848171
Lincoln3624104
Hancock352978
Leflore3400121
Sunflower320986
Tate303974
Pike302697
Scott296171
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292066
Itawamba290675
Coahoma283069
Tippah280065
Copiah279959
Simpson277581
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255641
Leake254172
Covington250280
Grenada248878
Adams235778
George232745
Newton232753
Winston222179
Jasper214145
Tishomingo213266
Attala206971
Chickasaw201954
Holmes182870
Clay179452
Stone173429
Tallahatchie171739
Clarke170773
Calhoun158628
Smith153833
Yalobusha145736
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123235
Lawrence121421
Carroll119425
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99824
Claiborne99030
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91423
Quitman77514
Franklin76420
Choctaw70117
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499411

Reported Deaths: 10149
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719951403
Mobile36396741
Madison32674469
Tuscaloosa24391423
Montgomery22789523
Shelby22250219
Baldwin19915289
Lee15070161
Calhoun13961296
Morgan13785255
Etowah13413327
Marshall11458215
Houston10121264
Elmore9509190
Limestone9435139
St. Clair9050228
Cullman8993183
Lauderdale8628214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7643165
Walker6600260
Jackson6551104
Autauga634492
Blount6252128
Colbert6007121
Coffee5261104
Dale4680107
Russell407534
Franklin400779
Covington3996107
Chilton3911104
Escambia379473
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3428142
Pike292973
Marion288796
Lawrence285787
Winston258568
Bibb246058
Marengo244657
Geneva240270
Pickens225757
Barbour213851
Hale212569
Fayette202657
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165141
Washington157036
Macon147845
Crenshaw146755
Clay146254
Cleburne140141
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123225
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter100832
Coosa90324
Greene88732
Choctaw55723
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