Dem lawmaker calls prank phone call on Trump ‘chilling’
A Democratic lawmaker said Friday that a comedian’s reported prank call with President Trump has “chilling” implications.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told CNN that “it’s a very chilling thing to contemplate” the types of “disruptions” others wishing to do the same could cause.
“I flew on Air Force One with President Obama … and their security systems are supposed to be pretty tight,” he continued. “There’s a whole protocol for making phone calls and receiving phone calls.”
“I’m shocked this was able to get through, and it really does raise questions about what kind of security filter do we have on Air Force One, presumably the most secure set of communications in the world?”
Comedian John Melendez has claimed he tricked Trump in a recent phone call into believing he was New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D).
In audio uploaded to “The Stuttering John Podcast,” a man who sounds like Trump can be heard saying “Hi Bob” before proceeding to congratulate the comedian pretending to be Menendez.
“You went through a tough, tough situation. And I don’t think a very fair situation, but congratulations,” the man tells Melendez in what seems to be a reference to the corruption charges against the New Jersey senator that were dropped earlier this year.
The comedian also brought up his immigration concerns for his “constituents” during the call and referenced the executive order Trump signed last week permitting families detained after illegally crossing the U.S. border to remain together.
“But I have to ask, what can I tell them you’re going to do moving forward?” Melendez asked.
The man who sounds like Trump responded to the comedian, appearing to believe he was the senator, saying he thinks lawmakers can work towards a deal on immigration.
“I think we could do a real immigration bill. We have to have security at the border. We have to have it,” the person said.
A White House official told CNN that the call was inadvertently accepted.
“The President wants to be accessible to members and likes engaging them and wants them to have the opportunity to connect,” the White House official said. “The downside of that is sometimes the channels are open too widely and mistakes like this happen.”
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