President Donald Trump asked a 7-year-old boy who called the NORAD Santa tracking hotline if he still believed in the mythical figure, during an annual Christmas Eve presidential tradition Monday night.
The Latest on President Donald Trump’s Christmas activities (all times local):
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump took Christmas Eve calls from children anxious to find out where Santa is on his gift-giving journey.
In one conversation, Trump asked a 7-year-old named Coleman, “Are you still a believer in Santa?” He listened for a moment before adding, “Because at 7, it’s marginal, right?” Trump listened again and chuckled before saying, “Well, you just enjoy yourself.”
“Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 25, 2018
Mrs. Trump later tweeted that helping children track Santa “is becoming one of my favorite traditions!”
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 25, 2018
Trump’s participation marks the 63rd year that NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has participated in the Santa tracking event, which provides updates to children of Santa’s movements from the North Pole.
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
President Donald Trump answered Christmas Eve telephone calls from children anxious to locate Santa.
Trump asked one child whether he still believed in Santa and told another “I’ll talk to you again.” First lady Melania Trump joined the president and told a caller Santa was in the Sahara. Several minutes later, she reported that Santa was far away in Morocco but would be at the caller’s home on Christmas morning.
The NORAD Tracks Santa program wasn’t affected by the government shutdown. It’s run by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado using pre-approved Defense Department funding.
The program became a Christmas Eve tradition after a child mistakenly called the forerunner to the North American Aerospace Defense Command in 1955 and asked to speak to Santa.
Source: The Associated Press