Trump asks child if he believes in Santa during NORAD calls

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept Trump jokes he'd get 'electric chair' if he deleted even one 'love note' email to Melania MORE joined the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) call center remotely from the White House on Monday to take questions about Santa’s location from children across the country. 

The calls ended a wild day at the White House in which Trump tweeted about a variety of topics, ripping the Federal Reserve over a falling stock market and blaming Democrats for the partial government shutdown that began Saturday over a disagreement on funding for his wall on the Mexican border.

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The president at one point tweeted that he was alone at the White House, but the first lady flew back on Monday to join him for Christmas Eve.

The Trumps by 6:30 p.m. on Monday night were accepting calls from children patched through to White House lines by NORAD.

According to a White House pool report, the president, seated in the State Dining Room before a crackling fire and under a portrait of President Lincoln, engaged in small talk with a child named Coleman. 

"Hello, is this Coleman," Trump said in a booming voice, according to the pool report. "Merry Christmas. How are you? How old are you? ... Are you doing well in school? ... Are you still a believer in Santa?"

At that point there's a slight pause in the conversation as the child says something to Trump. Coleman's side of the conversation cannot be heard.

"Because at 7 it's marginal, right?" Trump says, before Coleman says something else in response that makes the president laugh. "You just enjoy yourself," Trump says, smiling. 

Melania Trump, seated to Trump's right, spoke in a softer voice over the telephone to another child, who was not named in the report.

"How are you? Are you tracking Santa? ... I want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Thank you. Nice talking to you," she said. 

The couple spoke from an ornate and festive room in the White House decked out with a Christmas tree and greenery.

Trump also talked to a child from Indiana, according to the pool report. 

"What's Santa going to get you for Christmas? Who's with you? ... Have a great Christmas., and I'll talk to you again, OK?" he said. 

Melania Trump asked another child in a separate phone call: "Are you tracking Santa? Do you know where he is? ... I hope your dreams come true." 

Trump also could be heard asking children where they were from and thanking a general, the pool report said.

It is tradition for presidents and first ladies to accept calls to NORAD from children who want to know about Santa's Christmas Eve journey.

NORAD has tracked Santa's whereabouts since 1955.

Before talking to the children, Trump commented on the shutdown but offered no new news.

"Nothing new on the shutdown," Trump told reporters. "We need more border security."

NORAD's Santa tracker was funded this year despite the government shutdown, with military personnel and about 1,500 volunteers participating.