The man, wearing Santa’s traditional red and white outfit complete with bushy beard, received a raucous reception from the crowd. In addition to the Santa costume, the man was wearing one of Donald Trump’s iconic “Make America Great Again” baseball caps. The venue, the 11,500 capacity Mississippi Coast Coliseum, was decked out with festive decorations and banners reading “Happy Christmas”.
As Santa emerged ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey played through the stadium loud speakers.
President Trump has previously claimed some are attempting to downplay Christmas out of a desire to be “politically correct”.
On Christmas Day last year, he tweeted: “People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again.
“I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase”.
Trump is holding a Mississippi rally to back incumbent Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who is facing a challenge from Democrat Mike Espy in the state’s runoff election.
White House reporter Jill Colvin tweeted: “It’s fake snowing at this Trump rally. And he walked out of a giant fireplace.
“There are dozens and dozens of Christmas trees, a giant Santa slay and even a blow-up helicopter with moving rotor.”
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker added: “Trump walked out of a faux fireplace a la Santa Claus, adorned with Christmas trees and life-size nutcrackers, with fake snow shooting down from the rafters to his arena rally”.
More to follow…