The man who went viral after telling President Joe Biden "Let's Go Brandon," on Christmas Eve is speaking out, telling a local newspaper that he has received threatening phone calls since the viral phone call.
What happened on Christmas Eve?
Jared Schmeck, a 35-year-old father of four who lives in Oregon, told the Oregonian that his family calls into the NORAD Santa tracker every year. But this year he was shocked when he was told he would be speaking with first lady Jill Biden.
When the call connected, Schmeck spoke with both the first lady and the president, exchanging pleasantries with the first family and sharing what gifts his children wanted for Christmas. The call was being livestreamed, something Schmeck told the Oregonian he did not know.
"Well, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas," Biden said at the end of the brief conversation.
"I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas as well,” Schmeck responded. "Merry Christmas and Let’s Go Brandon!"
"Let's Go Brandon, I agree," Biden responded.
Caller to Biden: Merry Christmas, Let's Go Brandon www.youtube.com
Since the moment went viral, Schmeck has been compared to an abuser, disparaged by a range of insults — including an "inadequate white male MAGA," "an atomic level asshole," and an "insecure, incompetent little man who has no morals," among others — hit with thinly veiled suggestions of police malpractice for leaving a local police department, accused of fraud, and his place of employment, a family-owned company, has been spread online.
What is Schmeck saying now?
Schmeck told the Oregonian he was just joking when he invoked the common Biden insult. However, Schmeck admitted it reflected his frustration with Biden's policies, citing vaccine mandates and economic problems.
"At the end of the day, I have nothing against Mr. Biden, but I am frustrated because I think he can be doing a better job," Schmeck said. "I mean no disrespect to him.”
Schmeck added that he is "being attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech" and revealed that he has received threatening phone calls.
"I understand there is a vulgar meaning to ‘Lets Go Brandon,’ but I’m not that simple minded, no matter how I feel about him," Schmeck said. "He seems likes he’s a cordial guy. There’s no animosity or anything like that. It was merely just an innocent jest to also express my God-given right to express my frustrations in a joking manner...I love him just like I love any other brother or sister."
Still, Schmeck, who described himself as a "free-thinking American and follower of Jesus Christ," told the Oregonian he "stood 100% behind what I did and what I said."
We talked to President Joe Biden on Christmas Eve! #letsgobrandon www.youtube.com