- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The parents of the 7-year-old South Carolina girl who had a phone conversation with President Trump on Christmas Eve are defending the president after members of the media accused him of ruining the child’s belief in Santa Claus.

Donald and Erica Lloyd, parents of 7-year-old Collman, told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday that the coverage of Mr. Trump’s comments to their daughter about Santa has been way overblown.

“I think it’s crazy it became a big deal. It’s Christmastime. I’d love to keep politics out of Christmas,” Mr. Lloyd said. “It didn’t bother me — I like to talk to my kids like adults.”

Collman had placed a call Monday night to the NORAD Tracks Santa program, which tracks Santa leaving the North Pole and delivering presents around the world on Christmas Eve. As is tradition, the president answered a few of those calls in front of reporters, asking Collman, “Are you still a believer in Santa?”

“Because at 7, that’s marginal, right?” Mr. Trump asked.



“Yes, sir,” the child answered.

The “marginal” comment was blasted on social media and many accused the president of ruining Christmas for the child, but her parents said the word went right over her head.

“The way he used it … I’m not sure exactly what he meant by it. It’s an interesting use of language,” Mr. Lloyd told BuzzFeed. “That conversation was a tad awkward over the rest, but I didn’t have an issue with any of that.”

“I’m a teacher. I’m OK with the vocabulary,” Mrs. Lloyd said. “He was very kind. I was very impressed with the phone call.”

“It made her Christmas,” she added.

Collman told BuzzFeed News she was “feeling kind of excited and just, like, shocked” that she got to speak with the president.

“I thought he would have plans on Christmas Eve,” the 7-year-old said.

She told BuzzFeed that she still believes in Santa.

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