Post-Holiday, Partial Government Shutdown to Gain Impact

Trump to boy: Do you believe in Santa?

Children who called the United States military's North American Aerospace Defense Command to get updates on Santa Claus' progress on Christmas Eve were greeted by President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on Monday night.

Collman Lloyd, of Lexington, South Carolina, had called the NORAD Tracks Santa programme on Monday night to check on Santa's journey delivering toys.

Collman, like thousands of other American kids on Christmas Eve, called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which has tracked Santa's whereabouts for 63 years.

In one conversation, Trump asked a seven-year-old named Coleman, "Are you still a believer in Santa?"

When she responded: "Yes, sir", he had added: "Because at seven, that's marginal, right?" She later admitted she did not know the word's meaning, the Post and Courier reports.

"I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they'd like to call it", Trump said, suggesting that a change in semantics might allow for a breakthrough.

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

Trump speaks with reporters after holding a video call with USA military service members in the Oval Office on Christmas morning in Washington, on Tuesday. We are working so hard to catch these traffickers.

President Donald Trump said today that parts of the federal government will stay closed until Democrats agree to put up more walls along the US-Mexico border to deter criminal elements. The president made the comments from the White House while he and the first lady, Melania Trump, fielded calls from a hotline for children wondering where Santa was.

Trump spoke by video conference to members of all five branches of the US military.

Before an unusual Christmas morning session with reporters in the Oval Office, on Day 4 of a partial government shutdown that hinges on his demand for wall funding, Trump had never publicly stated many miles of barrier he wants.

Nine of 15 federal departments and dozens of other agencies shut down on Saturday after Trump refused to sign a spending bill that didn't include money for the border wall, his top campaign promise.

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