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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 January 2019

Trump tells child that believing in Santa at age seven is 'marginal' 

The US President asked the girl 'are you still a believer in Santa?'

US President Donald Trump participates in NORAD Santa tracker phone calls from the White House. Reuters
US President Donald Trump participates in NORAD Santa tracker phone calls from the White House. Reuters

Donald Trump committed a Christmas faux pas by asking a seven-year-old boy if he still believed in Santa Claus.

Every Christmas the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) tracks Santa's progress around the world by the heat from Rudolf the Reindeer's red nose.

The US president and first lady Melania Trump took Christmas Eve calls from children anxious to find out where Santa was on his gift-giving journey.

In one conversation, Mr Trump asked a seven-year-old named Collman: "Are you still a believer in Santa?" He listened for a moment before adding, "Because at seven, it's marginal, right?" Mr Trump listened again and chuckled before saying, "Well, you just enjoy yourself."

Ms Trump later tweeted that helping children track Santa "is becoming one of my favorite traditions!"

The NORAD Tracks Santa programme 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.

The programme wasn't affected by the government shutdown. It's run by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado using pre-approved funding.

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