'Stuttering John' Melendez Says He Was Visited by Secret Service After Call With President Trump
The comedian says he was posing as Sen. Bob Menendez when he received the call last week from the president, who was aboard Air Force One.
The Secret Service came looking for comedian John Melendez, known to many as "Stuttering John," following a prank that resulted in a call from the president aboard Air Force One.
Inside Edition spoke with the comic about the events Friday. He said he had "no idea" the stunt would get as far as it did.
Secret Service agents came knocking on the comedian's door at 10 p.m. in Los Angeles Friday. Melendez says he did not answer. They apparently spoke to several of his neighbors seeking his whereabouts. At some point, they left.
Melendez spoke to Inside Edition by phone and admitted he's nervous.
"Things just got real," he said.
The incident occurred last week when Melendez posed as the similarly named New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, who was acquitted of corruption charges earlier this year.
After calling the White House, he actually received a call from President Trump as the commander in chief was flying back to Washington from a rally in North Dakota aboard Air Force One.
In an audio recording of the call, a man who sounds just like the president congratulated the comic "on a job well done," and added that "we can do a real immigration bill."
“He starts congratulating me on I don’t know what," Melendez recalled to Inside Edition last week. "I don’t know that 'I' just got out of a fraud case."
Melendez also confirmed that he's hired Michael Avenatti, the attorney best known for representing Stormy Daniels.
Avenatti took to Twitter Sunday to say that the president should not waste any time looking into his new client.
But he admitted to MSNBC that he does have "concern" charges could be filed against Melendez to make an example out of him.
"'Stuttering John' said, 'Hey, I am Senator Bob Menendez on the line for President Trump’ — it is a clear violation of federal law when you impersonate a federal public official,” Randy Zelin, a criminal defense attorney, told Inside Edition. "Don’t be surprised if this gets taken really, really seriously and an example is made of 'Stuttering John.'"
Melendez says he knows Trump from his days at The Howard Stern Radio Show and hopes the president can take a joke. Speaking to Inside Edition last week, Melendez also offered an apology to the president for the prank.
Inside Edition called The White House to confirm that it really was Trump talking to Melendez on the recorded call, but administration officials had no comment.
"You heard it! There is no way it is not Donald Trump!" Melendez said last week. "I have the phone call coming from Air Force One, I have the number. I have Air Force One’s number!"
Melendez says no one was more surprised than he was to get through.
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