(WASHINGTON) — The White House has launched an internal review into how a call from comedian John Melendez was connected to President Donald Trump, a senior White House official told ABC News.
Confirming the authenticity of a call between the president and a former Howard Stern sidekick, the White House official said the office of legislative affairs reached out to Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey’s office after the White House switchboard was notified of the call.
The senator’s chief of staff said Menendez never requested a call with the president and the message was passed on internally at the White House that the call was not to happen.
But the official told ABC News the call went through anyway.
While recounting the experience on his “Stuttering John” podcast, Melendez said he was connected directly to Trump by his son-in-law Jared Kushner. He claims he also had a conversation with Kushner claiming to be Melendez’s assistant and using an English accent.
On a flight back from a rally in North Dakota on Thursday, the president had a conversation about immigration and his Supreme Court Justice short list with the comedian that he recorded, according to the official.
“I want to be able to take care of this situation every bit as much as everyone else,” Trump said on immigration.
Melendez then tried to influence the president on his Supreme Court short list, telling him that he would support a vote for his pick as long as they weren’t “too conservative.”
“Yeah. Well, we will talk to you about it. We’re going to probably make a decision, Bob, over the next two weeks,” Trump replied.
Bragging about his feat, Melendez said on his podcast, “This just shows you how easy it is to infiltrate the White House.”
The White House official acknowledged that the episode caused embarrassment internally and that they’re looking into the matter.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment.
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