Missteps by US president Donald Trump are something we’ve come to expect, but his latest blunder sticks out as being particularly embarrassing.
The president of the United States was somehow fooled by a comedian into taking a prank call while on board Air Force One.
Comedian John Melendez posed as Senator Bob Menendez, a democrat from New Jersey. He claims he spoke to the president's son-in-law, real estate businessman Jared Kushner, and received a call back from Trump.
Responding to the embarrassing error, a White House official said:
Sometimes the [President's] channels are open too widely and mistakes like this happen
That's certainly reassuring, isn't it? Let's hope he doesn't do anything really reckless, like deleting personal emails.
Menendez is a not only a democrat, but a long-time campaigner for immigration reform. Therefore, the fact Trump was keen to take his call has raised eyebrows, particularly as he has come under fire in recent weeks over his policy of separating migrant children form their parents at the US border.
Comedian Melendez, who goes by the stage name Stuttering John, recorded his conversation with the US president and uploaded it to his podcast.
On the recording, the voice that is allegedly Trump’s bizarrely congratulates Menendez for his 2017 acquittal in a bribery case, where he was accused of accepting gifts in exchange for political influence.
The podcast recording also discussed the Supreme Court, where Trump will be appointing a new judge following Anthony Kennedy's decision to retire next month. The voice thought to be Trump's responds that his nomination will be revealed in "10 to 14 days".
Melendez admits that he is no expert in US politics, and that his plan could easily have been rumbled if Trump’s staff had asked him to confirm basic information.
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.
This isn’t the first time a US politician has fallen victim to a prank call by a comedian. In 2008, Sarah Palin was duped into thinking she was on the phone to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
As ever, there's an old Trump tweet for every occasion. In the past, he seems to have considered himself above such pranks. In 2012 he tweeted saying he "never falls for scams", citing his interview with Ali G, a character played by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, as an example of his intellect.