Joe and Jill Biden sit on a sofa, both looking forward, listening.

Dad Who Told Biden “Let’s Go Brandon” During Christmas Call Is Talking About Stolen Elections With Steve Bannon Now

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The last four days have been a whirlwind for an Oregon dad who used a kids’ Christmas Eve call with Joe and Jill Biden to essentially tell the president to go f*** himself, thereby launching himself into the entirely predictable role of right-wing celebrity hero.

Jared Schmeck ended the call meant for children by saying “Let’s go, Brandon,” the code phrase embraced by the petulant right as a stand-in for “F*** Joe Biden.” For his part, Biden responded, “Let’s go, Brandon, I agree,” either because he doesn’t know what the phrase means or because it’s not worth it to make it a thing.

And it’s not worth it. “Let’s go, Brandon” is childish but I don’t think it actually gets under anyone’s skin the way the people who love it think it does. At the same time, saying it directly to Biden, especially during a Christmas call with children, is just a weirdly rude thing to do.

A lot of people online expressed their feelings about Schmeck’s stunt and so of course, Schmeck took to complaining about cancel culture and censorship. He told The Oregonian/OregonLive that he was “being attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech,” because apparently telling someone to go f*** themselves is protected speech but pointing out how rude that is is not.

Schmeck also told the outlet he meant “no disrespect” to Biden and that his comments were just “a joke,” even suggesting he didn’t fully understand the meaning of the phrase.

“I understand there is a vulgar meaning to ‘Let’s go Brandon,’ but I’m not that simple minded, no matter how I feel about him,” he told the outlet the next day. “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.”

There you have it! An “innocent jest” from someone who “loves” Biden and didn’t realize the phrase was a “vulgar” insult. Schmeck was just trying to be funny and made a mistake. He also insisted he wasn’t a “Trumper.”

That narrative lasted about 36 hours. Then Schmeck went on Steve Bannon’s far-right, conspiracy-laced podcast to talk about how much he loves Trump, how the election was “stolen,” and how “proud” he is of his call with Biden.

Schmeck told Bannon that during the call with Biden, he felt he had “a chance right now to voice my disapproval of this man and his administration.”

When asked what sort of disapproval he feels, “Schmeck cited ‘the leftist mob, the cancel culture, the mainstream media.’ He did not elaborate,” writes Oregon Live.

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.