Trump on another hot mic: ‘There is no Santa Claus, these kids are idiots’
Donald Trump’s sputtering presidential campaign took another severe blow following the release Sunday of a new hot mic recording on which the New York billionaire is heard saying “there is no Santa Claus” and that children who believe he exists are idiots.
The recording, obtained by the New York Times from an anonymous source, was made backstage at a 2011 Christmas pageant in which his then 5-year-old son Barron was participating.
On the tape, Trump is heard making small talk with other parents or guardians of pageant participants, doling out his usual candid and off-the-cuff remarks on everything from the weather in New York to Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s presidential aspirations.
When the conversation turned to the subject matter of Christmas and Santa Claus, Trump casually declared – within earshot of numerous children – “To be honest, I don’t understand why Santa Claus is such a big deal. He’s not real. Everybody knows it. There is no Santa Claus.”
“Believe me, these kids are idiots – suckers – for believing he exists,” Trump is heard saying, to nervous laughter from other parents.
The unearthing of the tape does not bode well for the Republican standard bearer, who is still reeling from the fallout of a recently leaked 2005 hot mic recording on which he bragged about sexually assaulting women. Several women have since come forward recounting their experiences with Trump’s unwanted sexual advances.
Sources close to the Trump campaign say they are scrambling to contain the damage from this latest bombshell, which could potentially turn off voters with young children, as well as adults who still believe there is a Santa Claus.
“Many Republicans believe this is the final straw. It’s one thing to brag about grabbing women’s genitals without their consent,” said MSNBC news anchor and resident Christmas expert Thomas Roberts, “it’s another to completely annihilate and destroy the joy of children around Christmastime.”
“It’s repugnant, and absolutely indefensible,” Roberts added.
Hardcore Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani sought to downplay the impact of the recording, noting that everyone is guilty of saying or thinking what the presidential candidate said about Santa Claus.
“Look, I don’t think it was particularly smart of him to say what he said about Santa Claus at a Christmas pageant no less, but come on, everyone comes to that conclusion eventually,” the former mayor of New York said in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.