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Trump tells child that believing in Santa at 7 is 'marginal'

While taking Christmas Eve calls from children, U.S. President Donald Trump asked a seven-year-old named Coleman, "Are you still a believer in Santa?" Trump listened for a moment before adding, "Because at seven, it's marginal, right?"

U.S. president, wife Melania took Christmas Eve calls from children

U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump took Christmas Eve calls from children anxious to hear about Santa's movements from the Norad program tracking Santa's gift-delivering journey. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump and wife Melania Trump on Christmas Eve took calls from children anxious to find out where Santa was on his gift-giving journey. 

In one conversation, Trump asked a seven-year-old named Coleman, "Are you still a believer in Santa?" Trump listened for a moment before adding, "Because at seven, it's marginal, right?"

Trump listened again and chuckled before saying, "Well, you just enjoy yourself." 

Melania Trump told a caller that 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. She later tweeted that helping children track Santa "is
becoming one of my favourite traditions!"

The Norad program tracking Santa became a Christmas Eve tradition after a child mistakenly called the forerunner to the North American Aerospace Defence Command in 1955 and asked to speak to Santa. 

The program wasn't affected by the government shutdown. It's run by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado using pre-approved funding. 

The Trumps later travelled to Washington National Cathedral to attend the Solemn Holy Eucharist of Christmas Eve. 

The president remained at the White House on Christmas Day, having cancelled his plans to spend the holiday at his estate in Florida after about a quarter of U.S. federal agencies were shut down when their funding expired Friday. 

Democratic and Republican senators approved a bipartisan deal earlier last week to keep the government open into February and provide $1.3 billion US for border security projects, but Trump refused to sign the bill because it did not include funding for a border wall with Mexico.