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The dad who told President Joe Biden the infamous conservative catchphrase ‘Let’s Go Brandon!’ during the NORAD Santa Tracker event with First Lady Jill Biden at the White House complex on Friday is attempting to clarify that he was joking.
‘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 told the Oregonian.
Schmeck recorded his end of the conversation and posted it to his YouTube channel.
The first couple hosted kids and their parents in the South Court Auditorium and talked to people virtually Friday.
Schmeck, beaming in from Oregon, said ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ after his kids told the president what they wanted from Santa Claus.
Jared Schmeck, 35, beaming in from Oregon, said ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ – code on the right for ‘f**k Joe Biden’ – after his kids told the president what they wanted from Santa Claus
Schmeck, a 35-year-old former police officer and electric company worker from Oregon, said that he ‘meant no disrespect’ and is ‘not a Trumper’ but a ‘free-thinker and follower of Jesus Christ’
Reporters in the room said that Biden seemed unphased. ‘Let’s Go Brandon, I agree,’ the president said in response
Reporters in the room said that Biden seemed unphased. ‘Let’s Go Brandon, I agree,’ the president said in response.
The Oregon father said he calls into the NORAD tracker every year and wasn’t aware that the call was going to be livestreamed.
‘I thought it would be automated. We just waited on hold and then they answered,’ he said. ‘And I thought, ‘wow, this is real.’ ‘
Schmeck said that it was a ‘joke,’ but also an expression of his frustration with the president’s policies, including vaccine mandates, inflation and supply chain issues.
He adds that, in addition to social media uproar, he’s gotten ‘vague but threatening’ phone calls since the exchange with the president.
‘And now I am being attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech,’ Schmeck said. ‘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.’
‘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.’
He added that he stands behind what he said 100 percent.
The clip of the exchange got immediate reaction online, with conservative blogger Erick Erickson commenting: ‘Confession: I find it in poor taste to tell the President of the United States ‘Let’s go Brandon’ when the man just wanted to wish you Merry Christmas. Good manners should still matter.’
The first lady’s spokeman Michael LaRosa answered ‘Yep.’ to Erickson’s tweet.
‘I think the let’s go Brandon stuff is harmless and funny, but if you tell someone to go f**k themselves when they are being nice to your kid, you’re just a d**k. Merry Christmas!’ said Tommy Vietor, a former aide to President Barack Obama.
Earlier, the president made a surprise visit to Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. Friday, alongside First Lady Jill Biden – marking the first time a president has accompanied the first lady on the traditional holiday trip.
First ladies have been reading stories to the hospital’s patients at Christmastime since First Lady Bess Truman held the position.
The first couple also stopped by a Christmas tree on 17th Street N.W. in D.C. in front of the restaurant Floriana, which was decorated with pictures of the Bidens, including a Jill Biden tree-topper.
Dr. Biden chose to read the book Olaf’s Night Before Christmas, starring the popular Frozen character. Before the reading, the Bidens spoke to both patients and parents.
‘You’re bringing us some joy,’ the president said.
A dad told President Joe Biden (right) ‘Let’s Go Brandon!’ during the annual NORAD Santa-tracking call alongside First Lady Jill Biden (left). Biden reportedly didn’t react to the right-wing smear
A dad named Jared beaming in from Oregon said ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ – code on the right for ‘f**k Joe Biden’ – after his kids told the president what they wanted from Santa Claus
The first lady’s spokesman Michael LaRosa answered ‘Yep.’ after conservative blogger Erick Erickson said the ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ utterance was in ‘poor taste,’ as the internet swifly reacted to the dad’s dig
‘I think the let’s go Brandon stuff is harmless and funny, but if you tell someone to go f**k themselves when they are being nice to your kid, you’re just a d**k. Merry Christmas!’ said Tommy Vietor, a former aide to President Barack Obama
First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) visited the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. to mark Christmas Eve
First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) stand with Dito Sevilla (center), the bar manager at Floriana restaurant, which put up a Biden-themed Christmas tree on 17th Street N.W. in D.C.
First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) arrive at the Children’s National Hospital Friday in Washington, D.C.
The first lady reads the book Olaf’s Night Before Christmas to patients at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., bringing along President Joe Biden as a surprise guest
President Joe Biden (left) speaks with a young patient during Friday’s surprise visit to the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
First Lady Jill Biden read Olaf’s Night Before Christmas , starring the popular Frozen character to the hospital’s patients
President Joe Biden (left) shared a book with a child (right) at the Children’s Naional Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Commander Biden was spotted on the South Lawn Friday morning, at the hospital the president showed the kids pictures of the new puppy and said he might visit the hospital come summer
He told one boy ‘my grandson loves laser tag’ and told a patient named Beau that he had a son and a grandson by that name as the children made lanterns.
‘Thank you to all the nurses and docs who are here to make them feel better,’ the first lady told the medical staff.
Earlier this week, the Bidens introduced a new member of the family – a German Shepherd puppy named Commander, which was given as a gift to the president by his brother.
The pup was spotted by reporters with a handler Friday morning on the South Lawn as they prepared to leave for the Bidens’ hospital visit. Commander was seen getting a belly rub and playing fetch.
The president told the kids about Commander’s debut during the visit, ratting out the dog for chewing on his slipper this morning.
‘He’s 15 weeks old,’ the president said, showing one child a photo of the dog on his cell phone.
Biden said they’d maybe bring the dog to the hospital in the summer.
First Lady Jill Biden holds a child’s hand as she arrives at the Children’s National Hospital on Christmas Eve
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden greeted some people virtually during the Christmas Eve visit
President Joe Biden looks at a child’s decorated bag during his surprise visit Friday to Children’s National Hospital
The hospital tweeted that a ‘surprise’ was on the way. The president’s visit marks the first of a sitting president during the holiday season, which is a tradition for the first lady
Olaf’s Night Before Christmas and a set of reading glasses were set out in advance of the first lady’s visit. President Joe Biden tagged along as a surprise
When the first lady got to reading, she had one of the patients join her to finish the end of the book.
The president remarked that the first couple spent a lot of time at the Philadelphia children’s hospital when their granddaughter was admitted.
He then asked the kids how many of them wanted to be doctors when they grew up.
While two hands shot up, other children said they wanted to be a chef, a police officer, an aerospace engineer, an author and a biomedical engineer.
‘We’ve never had a president come with the first lady on Christmas Eve,’ the hospital administrator remarked.
Former President Barack Obama visited the D.C.-based institution over the holidays in December 2018, after he had left office.
The trip marks the third trip Dr. Biden has made to the hospital since becoming first lady in January, the White House said.
President Joe Biden (center) hangs the 2021 White House ornament on Floriana’s tree as Dr. Jill Biden (right) shakes hands with the bar manager of Floriana, Dito Sevilla (left)
The tree in front of Floriana has a Jill Biden tree-topper and is decorated in apples, likely a nod to the first lady’s career as a school teacher
President Joe Biden takes in the Biden-themed tree that was put up on Washington, D.C.’s 17th Street in front of the restaurant Floriana. In recent years, the restaurant has dedicted the tree to powerful female political figures, including Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Afterward, the Bidens took the presidential motorcade to 17th Street D.C. – the gay main street of the Dupont Circle neighborhood – where they briefly stopped to look at the Biden-themed tree in front of the Italian eatery Floriana.
Most of the ornaments were large pictures of Jill Biden, though there were also some ornaments featuring the president in his trademark aviators. The tree is also decorated in apples, likely a nod to the first lady’s career as a school teacher.
In recent years, the restaurant has dedicted the tree to powerful female political figures, including Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Both Harris and Pelosi visited their respective trees.
The president hung the official White House ornament on the large outdoor tree.
‘Keep the faith,’ he told the pool of reporters following him when asked if he had a Christmas Eve message for Americans.
First Lady Melania Trump made the trip during her years as first lady. Here she reads a book during her 2020 appearance
President Joe Biden will spend his first Christmas as president at the White House with family and is giving up his New Year’s tradition of sun and St. Croix for the chill of Delaware this year.
First Lady Jill Biden (right) is expected to visit Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. on Christmas Eve
Upon their return, the president commented to the pool about the spring-like weather.
‘It’s more like Easter than Christmas with the weather,’ he said.
In D.C., it’s 53 degrees.
The Bidens are spending Christmas at the White House and are giving up their New Year’s tradition of sun and St. Croix for the chill of Delaware this year.
The president’s decision to stay local comes as the newest wave of COVID cases, caused by the highly transmissible omicron variant, has caused long lines at COVID-19 testing centers and caused major airlines to cancel flights due to staffing shortages.
The White House has taken heat for the country being ill-prepared for the testing crush.
Both United and Delta canceled more than 100 flights on Christmas Eve, blaming omicron and bad weather.
The decision to spend Christmas at the White House was unexpected from a president who heads home to Delaware for the weekend as often as possible.
Instead, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, he’ll spend some time between Christmas and New Year’s in Delaware.
The president will also eschew his family tradition of traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the New Year’s holiday, a trip he’s made with his family nearly every year since 2008.
His brother James owns property on Water Island, and Biden often has spent the week there or on St. Croix.
During his first year in office, he’s spent more than 25 weekends at his Wilmington home or his Rehoboth Beach house, where it’s easier for friends and family to stop by and for the Bidens to enjoy bike rides or outings to the beach.
Biden has suggested he’s uncomfortable with the trappings of life in the White House, at one point saying living there was like being in a ‘gilded cage.’
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff are spending the holiday in California.