Former President Donald Trump appeared on the Nelk Boys' newest podcast episode.
The Nelk Boys are a YouTube prank empire with over 7 million subscribers and 1.15 billion views.
The group has sparked multiple controversies before and their channel was demonetized in 2020.
Former President Donald Trump appeared on the most recent episode of the YouTube prank squad Nelk Boys' podcast, Full Send Podcast, which premiered on Wednesday afternoon. The appearance was another sign of the growing reach of the group, who have turned prank and party videos into an influencer empire.
The Nelk Boys are a group of YouTubers known for provocative prank and party videos peppered with crude, bro-culture jokes. Their main channel, which launched in 2010, has over 7 million subscribers and 1.15 billion views. The group has also expanded into additional channels, hard seltzer and merchandise, which their company claims makes them tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year.
Less than a day after Trump's appearance on the podcast, which was titled "Donald Trump on WW3, Talking to Putin and Joe Rogan," the video had already received over 3.8 million views on YouTube. YouTube removed the podcast on Friday for violating its minformation policy.
The group has ignited multiple controversies in the past. In 2020, their YouTube channel was demonetized after they repeatedly encouraged fans to break COVID-19 social distancing and lockdown rules. The team's leader, Kyle Forgeard, was also briefly arrested in April of last year after allegedly impersonating a mall police officer for a video, but his charges were later dropped. The group was also kicked off a cruise after they repeatedly harassed a speaker at an event under the guise of pranking.
The Nelk Boys rose to fame in the past decade on the back of comedy skits where they performed extreme pranks and said bizarre things to strangers in public. Some of their most popular videos involve members pretending they have cocaine in front of police, ruining wine tours by getting drunk and acting reckless, and crashing live Zoom classes.
The group brands itself as having an unfiltered quality and willingness to go beyond what other prank YouTubers would do. Forgeard told the New York Times in 2021 that "every video, we're swearing, we're doing some stuff that could be questionable or illegal, we're making sexual references or drug references."
Some of the squad's other main members include Jesse Sebastiani, Salim Sirur, and Steve Deleonardis, who also has his own separate channel, SteveWillDoIt, with over 4 million subscribers. The interview was hosted by Bob Menery with Deleonardis, Forgeard, and Sirur, who gave Trump sympathetic talking points and left his statements largely unchallenged.
At one point during the show, Trump said he thought there "could be a chance of World War III" because the US is no longer respected. He also partially blamed Russia's invasion of Ukraine on how President Joe Biden's administration dealt with the removal of troops in Afghanistan, and claimed there was "zero chance" Russian President Vladimir Putin would have invaded while Trump was still president.
Trump additionally reiterated previous baseless and disproven claims about how the 2020 election was stolen from him and called the media "unbelievably corrupt."
The Nelk channel previously featured Trump once before. That video was posted days before the 2020 election and depicted a few of the group's members appearing onstage at a campaign rally.
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