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Pranksters call the White House and end up on the phone with President Trump

What began as a prank call to the White House on comedian John Melendez's Stuttering John Podcast quickly developed into a distressing lesson on just how easy it is to fool the Trump administration. By the end of the podcast, the jokesters — who had been impersonating a made-up British assistant named "Sean Moore" and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D) — actually received a phone call back from the president while he was on Air Force One. While it seems almost too good to be true, Politico's Annie Karni confirms that the White House "has been scrambling this morning to figure out how this happened."

Melendez is best known for his work on The Howard Stern Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and he has met with President Trump as a result a number of times over the years. After failing to get through to Trump on Wednesday while recording his podcast, Melendez called the White House switchboard back claiming instead to be Menendez's British assistant. The operator told "the senator's assistant" that Trump was busy giving a speech, so Melendez gave him his cell phone number for a return call. While the Southern California area code raised suspicions, Melendez explained it away by claiming he was on vacation — and was subsequently cleared by a number of White House aides, including senior adviser Jared Kushner.

"This is how easy it is to infiltrate the administration," Melendez boasts before playing the audio. "Probably any administration. And if you think the KGB — I mean, this could be Russia doing it."

Listen to the whole saga — including Trump's conversation with a man he believes is Menendez, the New Jersey senator — below. Jeva Lange