Presidential Phone Prank

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," December 10, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, CO-HOST: It's the big talker tonight. (Ring, ring, ring) There we go!

When first daughter Jenna Bush called her father the other day on "Ellen" many of us were surprised how quickly she was able to get him on the horn.

Now, of course, not everybody has the direct line to reach the president of the United States except his family and his top aides.

GIBSON: However, a 16-year-old boy from Iceland just almost got President Bush on the phone and tonight everybody wants to know how he did that. "Big Story" correspondent Douglas Kennedy spoke to the mischievous teen today. Douglas?

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, BIG STORY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I spoke with him John and Heather, and he is not saying how he got that super secret number but he has become somewhat of a hero to his countrymen. Many of whom like the idea that he was able to prank the president.


KENNEDY (voice-over): George Bush has received many important phone calls every day he's been president. Congressional Republicans wanting to know his new policy on illegal immigration. World leaders wanted to know his strategy on Iraq.

Recently, the White House got a call from the president of Iceland, just wanting to invite Bush for a visit.

Now was this an official state visit or what did you tell them?

VIVILL ALLIASON, CALLED THE WHITE HOUSE: I told him I wanted to invite him to Iceland to meet me.

KENNEDY: Only it wasn't really (INAUDIBLE). The voice on the phone was actually Vivill Alliason, a 16-year-old boy from Iceland who was pretending to be its country's president. Now, somehow you obtained this top secret private number for the president.

ALLIASON: Yeah, yeah. I don't remember how I got it. I got it many years ago.

KENNEDY: And you reached some of the highest levels of the White House staff?

ALLIASON: Yes, yes, I got to talk to his secretary.

KENNEDY: He says they asked him security questions like his date of birth, the names of his parents and where he grew up, all of which he answered correctly with the help of Google and Wikipedia.

ALLIASON: I just booted it up right away.

KENNEDY: And in the end, they told you Bush would call you back?

ALLIASON: Yes. They set up a phone meeting after 7:00 in Atlantic Time on Monday.

KENNEDY: But Bush did not call. Instead Vivill got a visit from the local police who brought him in for questioning. Still, his success in breaching White House security has made him a celebrity in Iceland where he has been on all the major TV and radio outlets. Why do you think people in Iceland are so intrigued by what you did?

ALLIASON: I just think they don't like Bush. You know, he is not really popular in Iceland.


KENNEDY: Now the White House says that Vivill simply called the main switchboard in order to get in touch with the president. But I made him give me the number he called and I can assure you John and Heather, it was not to the main switchboard.

NAUERT: So how did he get this number?

KENNEDY: He is not saying! He says somebody gave it to him a couple of years ago and he says he doesn't want to get them in trouble.

GIBSON: All right, but then he goes and he answers these questions which almost got him to the president. Shouldn't security be Google-proof at the White House?

KENNEDY: It should be Google-proof and like the governor of Louisiana says, why don't they have caller ID? Why does it even get to that point? I mean, you'd figure they would have the same caller ID that the cops have which even if you're blocking the number it would tell you who it was.

GIBSON: It might say Jenna on the phone! Douglas Kennedy, Douglas, thank you.

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