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Trump offers holiday greetings to US troops after keeping them waiting while staring empty chair


The US military members around the world waited patiently on the president who was to deliver a Christmas thank you to them for their service  Trump was greeted with a happy holidays from the troops to which he responded about the country being proud of them and went immediately into the government shutdown and re stated his desire to get his wall built  The president switched gears from thanking the troops to talking about the government shutdown and complaining about not having his border wall  Trump made sure to speak about the government shutdown while speaking with the US military members stationed around the world during his Christmas day video conference with them in which he briefly thanked them for their service  We had caravans of people coming up, youve been seeing it. And we stopped them, and we stopped him cold and theyre heading back. For the most part, theyre heading back or theyre staying in Mexico. But I will…I will tell you, I know the work you do, and its been amazing and its great. I will see you all. I know Ill meet you all. Ill see you all. But on behalf of the country, Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Keep doing the job, were all very proud of you. Nobody can do what you do.  Trump spoke by video conference to members of all five branches of the U.S. military. The president is spending a rare Christmas in Washington because of a stalemate with Congress that left several government departments and agencies shuttered since the weekend, affecting the livelihoods of some 800,000 federal employees.  Trump usually spends Christmas at his Florida estate. He scrapped plans to travel to Palm Beach because of the shutdown. I thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family, he told reporters in the Oval Office after the give and take with members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard from their stations in Guam, Bahrain, Qatar and Alaska. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump each speak on the phone sharing updates to track Santas movements from the North American Aerospace Defense Command NORAD Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve President Donald Trump speaks on the phone sharing updates to track Santas movements from the North American Aerospace Defense Command NORAD Santa Tracker on Christmas President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended a Christmas Eve service at the National Cathedral, Monday My family is in Florida, Palm Beach, and I just didnt want to go down and be there when other people are hurting, Trump said. He didnt say which family members were at the Mar a Lago estate. Trump and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, had an active Christmas Eve. They answered telephone calls from children who wanted to know where Santa was on his gift giving journey, with the president at one point asking a seven year old named Coleman, Are you still a believer in Santa? Trump listened for a moment before adding, Because at seven, its marginal, right? Reporters in the room could only hear Trumps end of the conversation during the NORAD Tracks Santa program. The program became a Christmas Eve tradition after a child mistakenly called the forerunner to the North American Aerospace Defense Command in 1955 and asked to speak to Santa. It was not affected by the shutdown because its staffed by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado using pre approved funding. The Trumps later attended religious services at Washington National Cathedral. He and the first lady usually attend Christmas Eve services at the Episcopal church in Palm Beach where they were married in 2005. The comments below have not been moderated. By posting your comment you agree to our . Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline? Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual. Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline? Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. Well ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook. You can choose on each post whether you would like it to be posted to Facebook. Your details from Facebook will be used to provide you with tailored content, marketing and ads in line with our . Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday Metro Media Group

Stephen Childs

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