LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - A young Lexington girl who thought she was calling NORAD to speak with a scientist was shocked to learn President Donald Trump would be fielding her call from the White House on Christmas Eve.
Collman Lloyd, 7, said she's never called NORAD in an attempt to track Santa's path before. However, after a family friend suggested she give it a try, she did so.
“A scientist answered and he said, ‘Instead of getting you a real scientist, how about we get you the President of the United States,’” Lloyd said. “I was like, ‘Okay!’”
Erica Lloyd, Collman’s mother, said the scientist asked what the ages of the children were, where they were calling from, and if parents were around. After answering those questions, the family was placed on hold.
“He said, ‘Don’t hang up! Whatever you do, don’t hang up,’” Collman said. “So, we waited six minutes and eighteen seconds and we found the President of the United States!”
Both Collman and her mother thought the phone call would lead to a recording of the president's voice. Neither expected for him to pick up the phone in person.
“I’m thinking, ‘How does he know my name? That’s pretty cool,’” Collman said. “The president is saying my name! This is awesome!”
Erica said the phone call lasted around a minute and the president asked her daughter about her school grades, friends, and how her Christmas was going.
"He really took the time to get to know Collman in the conversation," she said. "That was really nice and he told her to wish everyone in her family a Happy Christmas."
Collman said the president asked her if she believed in Santa, to which she replied, "Yes, sir."
President Trump then replied, "Because at seven, it's marginal right?"
Lloyd said she and her husband thought the question was odd, given the original intent of the phone call was to track Santa. However, the conversation moved on and Lloyd said she wasn't bothered by it.
“His word choice might have been a little old for a seven year old, but we speak to our children like they’re older,” Erica said. “She didn’t understand the question, but now she does and she learned a new word. His personality actually came across in the phone call. He said the word ‘marginal’ and that’s his personality.”
The conversation between Trump and the seven-year-old has garnered national attention with many national outlets choosing to focus on Trump’s use of the word “marginal,” rather than the experience as a whole, Erica said.
“We’re not making this political,” she said. “This is the president of our country speaking with our daughter and we want this to be a happy thing. This is Christmastime and we’re not putting politics in Christmas.”
Collman said she’ll always remember the phone call and, thanks to her mother, will have proof to show her friends when she goes back to school.
The only thing she didn't learn talking with the president?
“He never told us where Santa was,” she said. “But we got on an app and we found out he was over Nepal!”