Father interrupts Biden’s Norad Santa call with ‘Let’s go Brandon’ insult


An Oregon father hijacked his children’s Christmas Eve phone call with the North American Aerospace Defence Command’s annual Santa Tracker to deliver a vulgar insult to President Joe Biden.

The Norad Santa Tracker is an annual tradition that dates back to 1955, when a child in Colorado Springs accidentally placed a call to the on-duty commander of what was then known as Continental Air Defence Command, looking to speak with Santa Claus, inspiring him to order a public affairs officer to inform the press that the US military was tracking Santa’s reindeer-pulled flying sleigh.

Norad now publishes the phone number of a volunteer-staffed hotline children can dial to receive updates on the cookie-eating, toy-delivering jolly man’s progress on his annual around-the-world delivery run. And in recent years, most presidents have joined in on the tradition by answering a few calls.

Mr Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were patched in to Norad’s Santa tracker line from an auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and were finishing a call with children from an Oregon family when the children’s father, a man who identified himself as Jared, interjected: “Merry Christmas and let’s go Brandon”.

Conservatives and supporters of former president Donald Trump have used the “let’s go Brandon” slogan as code for “f**k Joe Biden” since an NBC sports reporter misreported the content of the vulgar slogan, which was being chanted by the crowd at a September Nascar race.

The phrase has become somewhat of a shibboleth among consumers of right-wing media in recent months, but Mr Biden, who replied “let’s go Brandon, I agree,” did not appear to be in on the vulgar joke.

Mr Biden’s encounter with the caller was not the first time a presidential Santa Tracker call has gone horribly awry.

In 2018, a call between a seven-year-old girl named Collman and Mr Trump raised eyebrows after the then-president implied to the girl that Santa Claus was not real.

After asking what the youngster was doing for Christmas, Mr Trump followed up with: “Are you still a believer in Santa?”

“Because at seven it’s marginal, right?” he continued.

Mr Trump, who did not appear to realise that he’d told a child that Santa Claus did not exist, laughed to himself for a moment before concluding with: “Well, you just enjoy yourself”.



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