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Trump risks blowing Christmas magic for a caller to NORAD’s Santa tracker, reunites with Melania

President Trump capped off a terrible week for himself nearly ruining Christmas for a seven-year-old caller by questioning his belief in Santa Claus. 

It was the night before Christmas, and President Donald Trump was on the phone with children, peppering them with questions about whether they were looking forward to the holiday.  

Trump appeared to try to keep thing light as he sat beside his wife, Melania, in front of a roaring fireplace beneath a portrait of former President Abraham Lincoln. The first lady returned from Florida as the president spent the day complaining about his decision remain at the White House because of the partial government shutdown.

Every Christmas Eve, the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, claims to track Santa Claus’ flight across the globe, a tradition dating to 1955, when a department store printed the phone number of a NORAD colonel in a Christmas newspaper ad by mistake.

This year, though, the NORAD calls came at a precarious time for the president, who is mired in crises, from a government shutdown that has affected a quarter of federal agencies and departments to a stock market selloff amid Trump’s public criticisms of the Federal Reserve.

‘Are you still a believer in Santa?’ President Trump asked a young caller. ‘Because at seven it’s marginal, right?’

Melania Trump flew back from Florida today to be with the President as they surprised children calling the NORAD Santa Tracker hotline 

Melania Trump flew back from Florida today to be with the President as they surprised children calling the NORAD Santa Tracker hotline 

First lady Melania Trump joined the president and told a caller Santa was in the Sahara.

First lady Melania Trump joined the president and told a caller Santa was in the Sahara.

First lady Melania  Trump (left) and President Donald Trump (right) took calls from children tracking Santa this year from the White House

First lady Melania  Trump (left) and President Donald Trump (right) took calls from children tracking Santa this year from the White House

The NORAD calls were the first time Trump has been seen in public since the shutdown began. NORAD said on Friday it would continue the tradition in the event of a shutdown, adding in a tweet that military personnel would be supported by 1,500 volunteers.

Trump, who had been scheduled to leave for his Florida vacation home on Friday, has opted instead to stay at the White House during the shutdown so far, which occurred after he and top lawmakers failed to end an impasse over funding for his proposed wall along the border with Mexico.

Instead of enjoying the warmth of the Florida sun, Trump has spent the lead-up to the holiday meeting with lawmakers and Cabinet officials.

He has also used the time to tweet about people and subjects such as outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis, who abruptly resigned last week following Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria; North Korea; the Fed; and Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker.

‘I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security,’ Trump tweeted on Monday.

Trump’s Republican Party holds majorities in both congressional chambers until Jan. 3, when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives. 

The first lady tweeted about her enjoyment of the tradition of talking to kids hoping to keep a track of Santa Claus

The first lady tweeted about her enjoyment of the tradition of talking to kids hoping to keep a track of Santa Claus

After the tumultuous week for President Trump, first lady Melania Trump returns to the White House from Florida just in time to help him surprise the children calling NORAD’s Santa Claus tracker phone lines. 

While on the previous Christmas Eve the Trumps took the phone calls in the living room of Mar-a-Lago, Melania cut short her time in Florida this year to be with her husband for the holiday tradition.

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.

‘Helping children across the country track #Santa is becoming one of my favorite traditions! @Potus and I enjoyed working with @NORADSanta – #ChristmasEve’ the first lady tweeted about the event.    

But even Christmas could not keep out news about the shutdown. Asked by reporters if any progress had been made on government funding talks, Trump said there was nothing to report. 

President Trump spent most of Christmas Eve while waiting for the first lady to return watching Fox News and tweeting about the government shutdown over his demands for funding of a border wall.

Despite the stock market taking major hits lately, he also tweeted an attack on the Federal Reserve as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 650 points on what was being described as the market’s worst Christmas Eve ever.

‘The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders,’ he tweeted. ‘The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!’ 

‘It’s Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos,’ a joint statement from House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said. ‘The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve – after he just fired the Secretary of Defense.’ 

In a rapid series of tweets, the President aired numerous grievances that have cropped up toward the end of his second year in the White House.

He complained about the recently resigned Defense Secretary James Mattis who left with a letter perceived to be a scathing rebuke of the President’s policies, and he claimed to have never even met the administration’s envoy in charge of the coalition fighting ISIS, Brett McGurk, who left the administration immediately after Trump’s Syria withdrawal. 

McGurk said the the president’s announcement humiliated him, after he said on television the week before that no one in the U.S. was claiming mission accomplished in Syria.

Mainly, Trump complained about perceptions of his border wall, the sticking point in the budget fight with Congress shutting down a part of the government over the holiday.

‘The Wall is different than the 25 Billion Dollars in Border Security. The complete Wall will be built with the Shutdown money plus funds already in hand,’ he claimed. ‘The reporting has been inaccurate on the point. The problem is, without the Wall, much of the rest of Dollars are wasted!’  

 

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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