Girl in Trump call still believes in Santa

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Image source, Reuters
Image caption, Children from around the US called to speak to the president and his wife on Christmas Eve

The seven-year-old girl whose phone call with President Donald Trump on Christmas Eve went viral has said she still believes in Santa Claus.

Mr Trump threw doubt on the existence of Santa when he asked Collman Lloyd if she still believed in Father Christmas.

After learning the girl's age, the president asked: "At seven, it's marginal, right?"

"Yes, sir," the girl replied. She later admitted she did not know the word's meaning, the Post and Courier reports.

Collman, from Lexington in South Carolina, also told the newspaper that she was glad to be able to talk with the US president.

"I was like, 'wow'. I was shocked.

"It wasn't really (nerve-wracking), I just had to think of what the truth was."

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She added that after speaking to Mr Trump, she and her family left iced sugar biscuits and chocolate milk out for Santa Claus.

Those offerings were gone in the morning, and under a Christmas tree, there was a wrapped present with Collman's name on it.

So, what about the Santa phone call?

The scene was the grand State Dining Room in the White House.

Donald Trump and his wife Melania were taking calls from American children as the couple sat under two gargantuan Christmas trees.

All the children who called in had done so in the hope of getting through to Norad, the government agency that tracks Santa's movements around the world at Christmas (that still operated despite a partial government shutdown).

Some of those calls were patched through to Mr Trump and his wife.

And this is how the conversation between Collman and the president unfolded:

Trump: What you gonna do for Christmas?

Collman: I think we'll probably put out some cookies, and then we're hanging out with our friends. That's pretty much all.

Trump: You just have a good time.

Collman: Yes, sir.

Trump: Are you still a believer in Santa?

Collman: Yes, sir.

Trump: Cause at seven, it's marginal, right?

Collman: Yes, sir.

Trump: You just enjoy yourself.

President Trump is seen smiling at the end of the conversation.

Collman's parents later said they had no issue with the way Mr Trump spoke to their daughter, and said the president's remark was unfairly politicised.

"I'd love to keep politics out of Christmas. It didn't bother me - I like to talk to my kids like adults."

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