President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden speak with the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., via teleconference on Friday, Dec. 24, 2021.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo
- Jared Schmeck joined Steve Bannon’s podcast on Monday and backed Trump’s debunked election claims.
- “Trump is my president and he should still be president right now,” he said. “The election was 100% stolen.”
- Schmeck wished the Bidens a “Merry Christmas” during a Christmas Eve phone call before saying “Let’s Go Brandon.”
The Oregon father of four who wished President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden a “Merry Christmas” before proceeding to say “Let’s Go Brandon” during a livestreamed Christmas Eve call told ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that the 2020 presidential election was “100% stolen” from former President Donald Trump.
During a Monday interview on Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, Jared Schmeck, who previously told The Oregonian that he wasn’t a “Trumper” and that his comments toward the commander-in-chief were meant in “jest,” expressed a sharp opinion as it pertained to last year’s hotly-contested presidential election.
Schmeck, who over the weekend told the newspaper that he was being “attacked” for exercising his freedom of speech, sought to defend his character against criticism that he’s faced for using the coded insult against Biden during the call, which was part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program.
“Let’s Go Brandon — and I’ve said it in other articles — I am a Christian man. For me, it’s God first and foremost. I don’t follow any one man blindly,” Schmeck said.
He then rejected any implications that he wasn’t a Trump supporter.
“That’s absolutely false,” he said. “Donald Trump is my president and he should still be president right now. The election was 100% stolen. So, I just want to make that clear.”
He continued: “‘Let’s Go Brandon’ is more than just F— Joe Biden. ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ encompasses the entirety of our frustration with Joe Biden, the administration, the leftist mob, the cancel culture, the mainstream media … they’re the ones who made this a thing.”
—Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 24, 2021
The phrase became a rallying cry among conservatives after NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast used the term in lieu of “Fuck Joe Biden” while interviewing the NASCAR driver Brandon Brown after an October race in which the crowd was repeating the more vulgar terminology. Many Republicans feel as though the reporter who used the sanitized language to deflect from the Biden slur was engaging in a form of media bias, rather than say a clumsy attempt to avoid violating strict FCC rules against swearing during the motorway broadcast.
In an interview with The New York Times earlier this month, Brown expressed little enthusiasm for his name being attached to a divisive political debate.
“Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” Brown told the media columnist Ben Smith. “I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”
Schmeck, in making his statements, is seemingly amplifying Trump’s debunked claims of election malfeasance despite the numerous lawsuits filed by the former president’s campaign lawyers that were unsuccessful in proving that any sort of massive fraud tipped the election to Biden.
On the Christmas Eve call, President Biden urged children to adhere to a 9 p.m. bedtime to aid Santa Claus.
“Well, have a Merry Christmas. Have a wonderful Christmas,” the first lady said to Schmeck.
“I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas as well,” Schmeck responded.
He then added: “Merry Christmas and Let’s Go Brandon!”
The first lady appeared to wince at the statement, but her husband responded, “Let’s Go Brandon, I agree.”
After the call, the former police officer, who said that the statement was meant as a “joke,” received a torrent of online condemnation, prompting him to respond this past weekend.
“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 said of Biden at the time.
“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.