President Donald Trump wished “even the Fake News Media” a Merry Christmas the day after some mainstream media members and social media users trashed him for asking a 7-year-old girl if she still believed in Santa Claus.
Trump and first lady Melania spoke with children on the phone on Christmas Eve after the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) patched through the kids’ calls inquiring after Santa’s whereabouts.
The media focused heavily on one of the president’s conversations with a 7-year-old girl from Lexington, South Carolina, named Collman Lloyd.
“Are you still a believer in Santa?” Trump asked Collman.
“Because at 7, it’s marginal, right?” he added.
The president’s inquiry outraged many media critics and social media users who could not believe that Trump asked a child if she still believed in Santa.
Some accused the commander-in-chief of dashing Collman’s hopes and destroying her belief in Santa prematurely.
Veteran journalist Dan Rather used Trump’s phone call to mock him for expressing skepticism about extreme climate change policies.
Rather tweeted, “Just a thought: Which should be considered more ‘marginal’ — believing in Santa at age 7 or not believing in climate change at age 72?”
Just a thought: Which should be considered more “marginal” – believing in Santa at age 7 or not believing in climate change at age 72?
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) December 25, 2018
And not to be outdone, New York Magazine’s Josh Barro wrote, “Ruining Santa for children on Christmas to own the libs.”
Ruining Santa for children on Christmas to own the libs
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) December 25, 2018
New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait tweeted, “Earlier tonight walking next to some tourists on M Street, I heard the kid ask his parents if Santa was shut down, too. The mom replied, ‘No, even Trump can’t screw that up.’ He screwed it up!”
Earlier tonight walking next to some tourists on M Street, I heard the kid ask his parents if Santa was shut down too. The mom replied, "No, even Trump can't screw that up."
He screwed it up! https://t.co/u8kHIS5Jwb
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) December 25, 2018
Hill Reporter’s Brian Krassenstein complained, “Fox News vehemently attacked Obama for saying ‘happy holidays’ but won’t criticize Trump for basically telling a 7-year-old that Santa is fake. The ‘war on Christmas’ only counts when a black man preaches inclusion I guess … Trump has told over 7,000 damaging lies to the American public in 700 days as president, but he couldn’t tell just a single white lie to a 7-year-old [girl] in order to keep the magic of Christmas alive? #MerryChristmas. Let’s hope it’s the last one with this president. IMPEACH!”
Fox News vehemently attacked Obama for saying “happy holidays” but won’t criticize Trump for basically telling a 7-year-old that Santa is fake.
The “war on Christmas” only counts when a Black man preaches inclusion I guess.
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) December 25, 2018
Trump has told over 7,000 damaging lies to the American public in 700 days as President, but he couldn't tell just a single white lie to a 7-year-old boy in order to keep the magic of Christmas alive?#MerryChristmas
Let's hope it's the last one with this President.
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) December 25, 2018
As it turned out — this outrage was premature.
Trump didn’t dash the girl’s hopes and dreams — and he didn’t destroy her belief in Santa. The Post and Courier caught up with Collman and her family after the social media interest in her conversation with Trump.
Collman said she had no idea the president would speak with her directly.
When Trump asked her if she was “still a believer in Santa,” she replied, “Yes, sir.”
When Trump said it’s “marginal” for 7-year-olds to believe in Santa, Collman said, “Yes, sir,” although she told The Post and Courier that she did not know what “marginal” meant.
She said she still does not know what the word means.
But she was thrilled the president spoke with her.
“I was like, ‘Wow.’ I was shocked,’ Collman said. “It wasn’t really [nerve-wracking], I just had to think of what the truth was.”
If she ever has the chance to speak with Trump again, Collman said she would ask him about his family.
“Most people know this question. I would like to ask if he has any kids,” Collman said. “I’ve honestly never heard of them or seen any of them so I was wondering.”
Collman and her siblings still left milk and cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Trump did not destroy her belief in Santa after all.
BuzzFeed also caught up with Collman’s parents — and her father, Donald J. Lloyd, said the media blew the phone call way out of proportion.
“I think it’s crazy it became a big deal. It’s Christmastime. I’d love to keep politics out of Christmas,” Lloyd said. “It didn’t bother me — I like to talk to my kids like adults.”
Collman’s mom, Erica Lloyd, said, “I was very impressed with the phone call.”
“It made her Christmas,” she added.
The young Collman told BuzzFeed she was “feeling kind of excited and just, like, shocked” that Trump spoke with her on the phone because “I thought he would have plans on Christmas Eve.”
As for Trump, he took to Twitter on Christmas Day to wish everyone a Merry Christmas — even the mainstream media.
“I hope everyone, even the Fake News Media, is having a great Christmas! Our Country is doing very well. We are securing our Borders, making great new Trade Deals, and bringing our Troops Back Home. We are finally putting America First. MERRY CHRISTMAS! #MAGA,” Trump tweeted.
I hope everyone, even the Fake News Media, is having a great Christmas! Our Country is doing very well. We are securing our Borders, making great new Trade Deals, and bringing our Troops Back Home. We are finally putting America First. MERRY CHRISTMAS! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2018
Check out Collman’s phone call with the president in the video below: