Jared Schmeck is an Oregon man and former Medford police officer who has gone viral after saying “Let’s go Brandon” to President Joe Biden during a NORAD Santa tracker call on Christmas Eve. Schmeck has spoken out about the incident, telling The Oregonian he was joking and is now “being attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech.” Schmeck and his wife shared video on YouTube showing his side of the conversation as he used the anti-Biden saying while sitting with his son. The call with Biden and First Lady Jill Biden was being streamed live by the White House.
“Let’s go Brandon” is a euphemistic saying used by some Republicans to mean “f*** Joe Biden.” The meme was started in October 2021 when an NBC sports reporter, Kelli Stavast, mistakenly said a crowd was chanting the first name of a victorious NASCAR driver, when really members of the crowd were chanting “f*** Joe Biden.” The White House has not commented about the incident, but Schmeck has received backlash from some Democrats, as well as praise from some Republicans and Trump supporters on social media.
The 35-year-old Schmeck, who works for his father’s electric company and lives in Central Poin in Oregon’s Rogue Valley, told The Oregonian, “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. I mean no disrespect to him.” Schmeck is a father of four children, including two sons and two daughters, according to his call with Biden. He told the newspaper he is a “free-thinking American and follower of Jesus Christ.”
Schmeck told The Oregonian, “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 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 told the newspaper he stands, “100% behind what I did and what I said.”
Here’s what you need to know about Oregon dad Jared Schmeck:
1. Biden Talked to Jared Schmeck About the Gifts the Oregon Father’s Kids Wanted for Christmas Before Schmeck Ended the Call With the ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Phrase, to Which Biden Responded, ‘I Agree, Let’s Go Brandon’
President and First Lady Biden were answering calls to the North American Aerospace Defense Command on Christmas Eve as part of a tradition where military and government officials and their families talk to children and their parents as part of NORAD’s Santa Tracker program.
Schmeck wrote on YouTube, “We called NORAD and they patched us to the President! Let’s Go Brandon! I had no idea this was being livestreamed at the time!” The video, titled “We talked to President Joe Biden on Christmas Eve! #letsgobrandon,” has more than 300,000 views and thousands of comments. The White House also posted video showing the Bidens side of the conversation:
Schmeck’s identity was revealed after he and his wife, Amanda Schmeck, posted about the call on social media. His wife wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post, “My husband may or may not have just told joe and jill Biden ‘let’s go Brandon’ on the phone,” adding two laughing-crying emojis.
Schmeck told The Oregonian he didn’t think he was actually going to be talking to the president and first lady, “I thought it would be automated. We just waited on hold and then they answered. And I thought, ‘wow, this is real.'” He said he didn’t hang up on Biden. By the time the president asked him about whether he was in Oregon, the call had already been disconnected on Biden’s end, Schmeck told the newspaper. He said he calls the NORAD number every year on Christmas Eve.
2. Schmeck Told The Oregonian He’s Not a ‘Trumper,’ but Appeared on Former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon’s Podcast in a MAGA Hat & Said ‘Donald Trump Is My President’ & ‘the Election Was 100% Stolen’
While Schmeck told The Oregonian in the hours after the video call that he is not a “Trumper,” he appeared on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast on December 27 wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and expressing his support for the former president.
Schmeck told Bannon, “It was said in a joking manner, in a humorous manner, but it’s a very serious thing.” He said it was a way for him to “voice my disapproval of this man and his administration.” He added, “I am a Christian man, for me it’s God first and foremost, I don’t follow any one man blindly. Some of the media has run with that and said I don’t support Donald Trump, that’s absolutely false. Donald Trump is my president and he should still be president right now.”
Schmeck added, “The election was 100% stolen. So I just want to make that clear. ‘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 are the ones who have made this a thing. And we’re able, as conservatives, to find humor in this. But there’s terrible things going on.” Schmeck mentioned the Afghanistan withdrawal, supply chain issues, inflation, abortion, the border crisis and federal vaccine mandates as issues he has with Biden and Democrats.
Schmeck has also made appearances on conservative shows hosted by David Harris Jr. and David Medina, according to his Instagram page. He will be appearing on Newsmax with Greg Kelly the night of December 27, Schmeck said on Instagram. He wrote on Instagram, “Had a couple of great interviews today with @davidjharrisjr and @davidmedinaofa . It’s so nice to see all of the support from everybody in the comments too. You guys are awesome. Keep up the fight, Patriots! #letsgobrandon.”
3. Jared Schmeck Resigned From the Medford Police Department in Oregon in 2018 After 6 Years on the Force, but Declined to Say Why & the Reason Hasn’t Been Made Public
An old LinkedIn profile lists Jared Schmeck as a police officer with the Medford Police Department in Oregon. But The Oregonian reports Schmeck is no longer a cop. He worked for the Medford Police as an officer for six years before resigning in 2018, the newspaper reports.
The Oregonian said it asked Schmeck why he resigned from the police department, but he declined to say. The Medford Police have not said why Schmeck resigned and that detail has not been uncovered in any reports about the viral incident and Schmeck’s background. He began working as a police officer in Medford in April 2012 and resigned in July 2018.
The Medford, Oregon, police department has not commented about the sudden stardom of their former employee and have not responded to the numerous social media messages they have received about the viral video. But the Medford, Massachusetts, police department did address the situation, tweeting, “Just a friendly reminder that this is the Twitter account for the Medford, Massachusetts Police Department. We are often tagged in posts meant for other departments. This account is not monitored 24/7. In an emergency, dial 911.”
4. Schmeck Works for Winema Electric, a Klamath Falls, Oregon, Company ‘Grounded in Christian Values’ That Is Owned by His Father, Bill Schmeck, & Received Federal PPP Funds
After leaving the Medford Police Department, Schmeck began working at Winema Electric, a company in Klamath Falls, Oregon, run by his father, William “Bill” Schmeck, according to its website. Jared Schmeck, who graduated from Mazama High School in 2004, has an associate’s degree in electrical science and worked as an electrical apprentice with his dad’s company before becoming a police officer, according to his now-deleted social media pages.
The company says on its website, which has been put behind a password as a result of the attention being given to their employee, “Grounded in Christian Values, Winema Electric is lighting the future of the electrical industry, by providing a higher standard of service that exceeds expectations.”
The website adds, “Our way is to create an environment that changes the way work is done; a place where employees become family; where we empower one another to succeed in every aspect of life; building enthusiasm in our company so everyone goes home safe with love and pride for their work; creating lifelong relationships with those we serve, our team, our customers, and our community; inspiring one another to live every day with the basic Christian value of always doing the right thing.”
Schmeck’s father, who is the company’s president, has 30 years of experience as an electrician and is a Navy veteran, according to the website. Jared Schmeck works as an office administrator and safety coordinator, according to the company’s website. Schmeck’s mother, Cindy Schmeck, also works for the company.
According to ProPublica’s database, Winema Electric has received $439,923 in federal Paycheck Protection Program funds as part of the Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic efforts. The funds were first approved in April 2020 and the company has had $442,305 forgiven by the government, according to the database. The company employs 24 people.
5. Jared Schmeck & His Wife, Amanda Schmeck, Have Been Married Since 2008
Jared Schmeck and his wife, Amanda Sales Schmeck, were married in Grants Pass, Oregon, at Eastman Gardens in 2018, according to their social media pages and a wedding announcement. According to the call with Biden, the Schmecks have two sons, Grant and Hunter, and two daughters, Penelope and Piper. The YouTube channel where Schmeck posted the Biden video was started in 2018 and shows Schmeck and his family enjoying the search for trading cards. In the about section, it says, “We open and play the Pokémon TCG, Digimon, Cardfight! Vanguard and a bunch of other card games!!”
Schmeck and his wife have deleted much of their other social media. Amanda Schmeck took down her Instagram page and both of them deleted their Facebook pages. Schmeck also deleted his LinkedIn profile and other family members have also taken down or privatized their accounts as the family has come under nationwide scrutiny and attention, both positive and negative. Schmeck has created an Instagram, @therealjaredschmeck, to promote his right-wing media appearances.
It is not the first time in recent years that a president’s NORAD duty has gained the attention of social media. In 2018, President Donald Trump received backlash after he asked a 7-year-old if she still believed in Santa while taking calls.
According to NPR, Trump said to the girl, “You doing well in school? … What are you going to do for Christmas? … Are you still a believer in Santa? … Because at 7 it’s marginal, right?” The NORAD tradition has been taking place since 1955, according to NPR.