Donald Trump

Is Santa Claus real? Donald Trump tells seven-year-old girl it’s a ‘marginal’ belief, triggering a Christmas storm

  • Twitter erupted after US President Donald Trump gave a reality check to a girl named Collman, who had called a NORAD hotline to check on Santa’s progress
  • ‘Are you still a believer in Santa?’ Trump asked the child. ‘Because at seven, it’s marginal, right?’
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 December, 2018, 2:36am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 December, 2018, 4:26pm

US President Donald Trump set off a Christmas social media storm when he suggested to a seven-year-old girl that she was too old to believe in Santa Claus.

Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree after Trump made his remark during a holiday event with First Lady Melania Trump, taking calls from children who had phoned the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) Santa tracker, to check Saint Nick’s progress. Some of the calls were transferred to the White House.

A Christmas tradition, the NORAD tracker delights children with “real-time” updates on Santa’s Christmas Eve journey around the world.

In one of the Christmas Eve calls, Trump chatted with a seven-year-old girl named Collman Lloyd from Lexington in South Carolina.

“Are you still a believer in Santa?” Trump asked the child. “Because at seven, it’s marginal, right?”

In a twinkling, Twitter erupted at the president for casting doubts on a cherished fantasy of childhood.

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“It’s just too freaking fantastic that Trump spent his Christmas Eve calling seven year olds and telling them believing in Santa at their age is ‘marginal’,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said on his Twitter account.

“Actually there is no heaven,” tweeted Dan Amira, head writer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah comedy show. “When you die you just rot in the ground and get eaten by worms. Okay Merry Christmas, Timmy.”

Collman’s local newspaper, The Post and Courier, later posted a video on YouTube of her side of the conversation.

Others defended Trump.

“Trump does a lot of things wrong, but suggesting to a 7 year old that Santa doesn’t exist is probably the one right thing he’s done while in office,” said a man identified on his Twitter account as Irtiza Sheikh. “Someone’s gotta do it.”

The White House had no immediate comment on the social media response to the president’s Santa comments.

In 2017, Trump spent the holidays at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, with his family, but for his second Christmas as president, Trump opted to cancel his holiday getaway because of the partial federal government shutdown.

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It began last week when top lawmakers failed to end an impasse over funding for his proposed wall along the border with Mexico.

Stuck in Washington on Christmas morning 2018, Trump displayed little holiday cheer while speaking with reporters after a 20-minute video conference with US troops serving abroad.

He assailed the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, railed against Democrats who refuse to fund the wall he wants to build on the US-Mexico border, and blasted the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia, among other regular targets.

The president then closed with holiday wishes of sorts.

“It’s a disgrace, what’s happening in our country,” he said. “But other than that, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.”