Jared Schmeck, the man who wished President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden a merry Christmas and added "Let's go Brandon!" at the end of a live streamed Santa tracker call claims he meant "no disrespect" to the President despite using a derogatory phrase that's become a favorite in conservative circles.
Schmeck made national headlines for the stunt, which took place as the Bidens took calls to the North American Aerospace Defense Command Santa Tracker, which lets families watch Santa Claus travel the world on his mission to deliver presents to children every year on Christmas Eve.
You can hear the call in the video below.
Schmeck defended his actions in an interview with The Oregonian, saying he simply thinks the President "can be doing a better job":
“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."
He went on to describe himself as as “free-thinking American and follower of Jesus Christ," adding that he is being "attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech":
“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.”
However, Schmeck's explanation has not gone over well with the online community and he is facing heavy criticism for the stunt.
The "Let's go Brandon!" chant has been used by conservatives to denigrate President Biden. It began in October after an anti-Biden rap song began making the rounds, eventually rising to the top of the iTunes hip-hop chart.
The song, entitled "Let's Go Brandon," is performed by rapper Loza Alexander and went viral on TikTok.
It was inspired by the "Let's go Brandon!" meme that has taken social media by storm since NBC's Kelli Stavast interviewed NASCAR driver Brandon Brown after he came in first place at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway in early October.
The interview went viral because the crowd could be heard chanting "F*** Joe Biden" in the background, which Stavast misheard as "Let's go Brandon!"
The moment, and the use of the chant since, is widely viewed as an example of the heightened political polarization in American politics as the Biden administration continues to work on bridging the gaps in a stalled legislature in an effort to codify its social and economic agenda.