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Trump to girl: 'Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it's marginal, right?'

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Donald and Melania Trump answer calls to NORAD on Dec 24, 2018.
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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Seven-year-old Collman was really anxious to know where Santa was on Christmas Eve.

To find out, the eager American girl called the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), which tracks Father Christmas on his worldwide gift delivery round.

It's a mission NORAD has solemnly carried out without fail for the past 60 years, and not even a government shutdown could put a stop to it.

But Collman got an early surprise when she was put through, not to Santa, but the US President himself, Donald Trump.

Trump asked her: "Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven, it's marginal, right?"

Collman's answer however brought a smile to the president's face, who cheerily replied: "Well, you just enjoy yourself."

NORAD, a Canada-US organisation charged with aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning to defend North America, began tracking Santa in 1955 when a child mistakenly called and asked to speak to Father Christmas.

Nowadays it uses "satellites, high-powered radars, jet fighters and special Santa cameras" to spot Santa as he journeys around the world on his reindeer sleigh.

It also allows impatient children to see where Santa is in real-time on its website. According to the organisation, Santa was about to reach Kodiak in Alaska at 10:30 CET.

The President and his spouse traditionally answer some of the calls on Christmas Eve.

For First Lady Melania Trump, the annual event "is becoming one of my favourite traditions".

Correction: A previous version erroneously described the child as a boy named 'Coleman.'