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Not even a government shutdown can stop the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) from tracking Santa’s whereabouts. Or stop President Trump from potentially ruining Christmas for children.
Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, spent some of their Christmas Eve taking calls from children wondering where Santa might be.
When a 7-year-old named Collman Lloyd called in asking about St. Nick’s location, Trump wanted to make sure she was actually a believer.
“Are you still a believer in Santa?” he asked, adding “Because, at 7, it’s marginal, right?”
Yes, this really happened. Listen below:
Donald Trump, answering phone call from 7-year-old on Christmas Eve: "Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it's marginal, right?" pic.twitter.com/VHexvFSbQ1— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) December 25, 2018
We didn’t hear Collman’s response, but it did make the president laugh.
Trump, tomorrow: “In my day you knew Santa wasn’t real at FIVE, tops. This kid is, what, seven? He’s a loser, his parents are losers, they’ll all die losers, believe me.”— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) December 25, 2018
NYT Op-Ed: “A Bullish Trump Raises Important Questions About The Generation of Cowards We Are Raising”
Some people on Twitter declared that Trump ruined Christmas.
Trump killed Santa— Mary T. Hagan (@marytherese5) December 25, 2018
Imagine calling Santa and getting Trump.— Tom Canham (@tcanham459) December 25, 2018
Way to ruin Christmas. https://t.co/2vhyMmwuVF
Wait. Did @realDonaldTrump LEGITIMATELY ruin Christmas and basically tell a kid Santa's not real? That's so surreal. It's like living in an eighties movie for keeps.— Liam McIntyre (@Liam_J_McIntyre) December 25, 2018
I'm still the only one up and I'm just hoping the kids are up soon so they can open their presents before Trump calls to tell them that there isn't a Santa.— Art Radley (@g00dneighbour) December 25, 2018
Others are glad the truth is finally out.
The biggest fake news of all time is the Santa Claus story and Trump is outing it to the seven year olds. Great job, Your Heinous. Never compromise in your pursuit of the Truth.— jpeteryoung (@jpeteryoung) December 25, 2018
Melania Trump, meanwhile, can be heard asking callers if they were good this year and telling one kid that Santa was still far away but on his way to their home.
NORAD tweeted that the Santa tracker would still be working despite the government shutdown. The group has tracked the sleigh on Christmas for more than six decades.
In the event of a government shutdown, NORAD will continue with its 63-year tradition of NORAD Tracks Santa on Dec. 24. Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year. pic.twitter.com/fY0oyjrdDc— NORAD & USNORTHCOM (@Norad_Northcom) December 21, 2018
Last year, more than 126,000 children called the NORAD line while the Santa tracker was viewed over 18 million times.
Update 8am CT, Dec. 26: The Post and Courier posted a video of the girl answering Trump, saying that she believes in Santa. This article also corrects the spelling of Collman’s name.
Elizabeth VanMetre is a reporter based in Wyoming. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared on ETOnline, the New York Daily News, Yahoo Travel, and more. She hosts a local morning show in Wyoming.