WASHINGTON (AP) — 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."
In one conversation, the president 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.”
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 first lady later tweeted that helping children track Santa “is becoming one of my favorite traditions!”
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 preapproved 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.