President Donald Trump probably would've been happy to get some “beautiful, clean coal” in his stocking on Christmas morning.
Instead, he woke up to another day of a shut-down government, still no funding for his border wall, and of course, opposition from those pesky Democrats.
"It's a disgrace, what's happening in our country," Trump told reporters from behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, where he was lonely on Christmas Eve. But Trump didn’t let his crummy circumstances slow him down. He still managed to nearly screw up Christmas for a 7-year-old girl and go after several of his sworn enemies, including “Little” Bob Corker and "Lyin’" James Comey.
Here’s some of what's been going on around the White House over the holidays, for those of you who are just logging back on.
Trump nearly told a 7-year-old that Santa’s not real
The president and first lady sat together in the East Wing on Monday evening to field calls from kids and let them know where Santa’s sleigh was. It’s a tradition put together by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which “tracks Santa” every year on Christmas Eve as he makes his way around the globe.
"Are you still a believer in Santa?” Trump asked 7-year-old Collman Lloyd of South Carolina.
“Yes, sir,” she responded.
“Because at 7, it's marginal, right?” Trump said. (Lloyd had never before heard the word “marginal,” according to the local Post and Courier.)
“Yes, sir,” she said.
While the young girl believes in Santa, she’s less certain about other mythical beings. Asked by the Post and Courier what she’d ask the president if she had a chance to talk to him again, she said: “Most people know this question. I would like to ask if he has any kids. I’ve honestly never heard of them or seen any of them, so I was wondering.”
In conclusion, Santa: definitely real. The Trump kids: maybe not.
The president can’t quite get it right with the troops
Trump finally made it out to Iraq — the one place he’s not expected to decrease troops — after nearly two years in office. He and Melania visited an active war zone for the first time in the Trump presidency.
At the same point in former president Barack Obama’s first term, he’d been to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and so had George W. Bush. But Trump, who campaigned on pulling back U.S. military involvement abroad, has been reluctant to visit wars that he doesn’t want to appear to validate. (Also, he’s reportedly afraid.)
Trump didn’t visit the troops on Christmas Day (as most presidents do) and instead made calls to them from the comfort of the White House. But he did board Air Force One around midnight Wednesday for an impromptu trip to Iraq. Just days earlier, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis resigned as Trump’s defense secretary over Trump’s controversial decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria.
While Trump was in flight, new details broke about his alleged draft-dodging. As it turns out, Trump’s dad was renting office space to a podiatrist who diagnosed Trump with “bone spurs” in his heels. But the doctor’s daughters told the New York Times that the diagnosis was bogus — a “favor” that’s lived on through years of family lore.
Trump harnessed the holiday spirit and spewed rage at the Dems and Comey
As Democrats get ready to take control of the House of Representatives in January, Trump’s getting ready to field a host of new investigations into his conduct — what he called “presidential harassment” on Tuesday.
"We know how to handle that," Trump said from the Oval Office on Tuesday in reference to the new investigations coming in the new year. "I know how to handle that better than anybody."
He also called the Democrats hypocrites for failing to fund his border wall — and, without being prompted, went off again on former FBI Director James Comey.
"Everybody hated Comey; they thought he did a horrible job. The Democrats hated him. They were calling for his resignation. They were calling for his firing," Trump said Tuesday. Some Democrats did fault Comey for his handling of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during the 2016 presidential election — or at least worried that his investigation helped tip the election toward Trump.
Trump thinks the Dems flipped on the border wall just like they did on Comey: According to the president, Democrats wanted a border wall until Trump started to campaign on building one. That’s not quite right.
Cover image: President Donald Trump speaks to members of the five branches of the military by video conference on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)