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In call to troops, Trump says America is saying Merry Christmas "very proudly"

Trump speaks to troops

In a Christmas Eve call to U.S. troops overseas, President Trump said the nation is saying Merry Christmas "very proudly."

"I just want to wish everybody a very, very Merry Christmas. We say Merry Christmas, again, very, very proudly," Mr. Trump said on a teleconference from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Sunday. "We're going to have a great year, an incredible year," 

Mr. Trump had repeatedly vowed to offer Christmas greetings while on the campaign trail and during presidential rallies. At an event in Missouri last month he told supporters, "You don't see 'Merry Christmas' any more." 

He added, "With Trump as your president, we are going to be celebrating 'Merry Christmas' again."

The president -- speaking to five members of the military deployed in Kuwait, Qatar, Guantanamo Bay and aboard the USS Sampson -- thanked the troops and families of service members overseas.

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a Christmas Eve video teleconference with members of the military at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a Christmas Eve video teleconference with members of the military at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 24, 2017. Carlos Barria/REUTERS

"I'm thrilled to bring season's greetings on behalf of the first lady and our entire family and most importantly from the American people. Today and every day we're incredibly thankful for you and for your families. Your families have been tremendous, always under-appreciated, the military families," he said.

"As we celebrate this most precious holiday we're grateful for each of you who spend this Christmas away from your families and defend all of our families, our freedoms and our flag," he added. "Every American heart is thankful to you and we're asking God to watch over you and to watch over your families." 

Mr. Trump also took to Twitter on Sunday, saying, "Fake News refuses to talk about how Big and how Strong our BASE is."   

"They show Fake Polls just like they report Fake News. Despite only negative reporting, we are doing well - nobody is going to beat us. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" he tweeted.

The president also retweeted a supporter's tweet that showed an image of the president inside a car with the text "winning" above him. It also shows what appears to be a red splattered-stain of CNN's logo on the bottom of Mr. Trump's shoe.

The president has previously endorsed similar tweets featuring anti-CNN rhetoric. In July, he posted a looped video showing him running toward a wrestling ring to tackle another person, with the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN. In the video, the person's head was edited to show the CNN logo in its place, as Mr. Trump topples it to the ground.

A month later, he retweeted a doctored political cartoon showing a man covered with the CNN logo being hit by a train. "Nothing can stop the #TrumpTrain!!" said a message accompanying the image. That tweet -- which came just days after a man used his car to plow through a group of people at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia -- was quickly deleted from the president's account.