Donald Trump Says People Say 'Merry Christmas' Again Because of Him

Former President Donald Trump has asserted that Americans "quickly" started to say "Merry Christmas" again during his presidency.

Trump told former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee that the common holiday greeting experienced a resurgence when he took office during an interview that aired on the conservative network Newsmax on Thursday. Huckabee, who was one of Trump's Republican presidential primary opponents in 2016, claimed that "America had gone into a long period where people quit saying 'Merry Christmas.'"

"You deliberately changed that," Huckabee said while emotional piano and strings music played in the background. "And openly said 'Merry Christmas,' we're going to say it again."

"That was part of my campaign," Trump responded. "The country had started with this 'woke,' I guess, a little bit before that. And it was embarrassing for stores to say 'Merry Christmas.' You'd see these big chains, they want your money but they don't want to say 'Merry Christmas.' And they'd use reds and they'd use whites and snow but they wouldn't say 'Merry Christmas.'"

"When I started campaigning I said, 'you're going to say Merry Christmas again.' And now people are saying it," he continued. "That was a big part of what I was doing, I would say it all the time during that period... I tell you, we brought it back very quickly."

Donald Trump Merry Christmas Happy Holidays Huckabee
Former President Donald Trump has claimed victory in a "War on Christmas" battle, insisting that his presidency resulted in Americans saying "Merry Christmas" again. Trump is pictured on the phone in front of a Christmas tree at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on December 24, 2017. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty

Huckabee agreed that Trump "really did" bring the phrase back. He said that the greeting was "a part of the American culture" and not meant "to exclude anybody." He went on to say that the phrase was "just simply a celebration of what America does at Christmas" while stock video panned over images of a Christmas tree decorated with the American flag and "Be Best" ornaments.

"America loves Christmas," Trump agreed. "Whether you're Muslim, whether you're Christian, whether you're Jewish, everyone loves Christmas. And they'd say 'Merry Christmas' until these crazy people came along and they wanted to stop it along with everything else."

Trump concluded by insisting that he was "very proud of" his supposed accomplishment of bringing the greeting back into widespread use.

There is little evidence to quantify how often people greet each other using any particular phrase during the holiday season. Regardless, perceptions that the phrase "Merry Christmas" unfairly fell out of favor have been frequently cited by largely conservative commentators touting a so-called "War on Christmas" in recent years, a notion that former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly popularized on air in 2004.

Those who have argued that "Merry Christmas" was unjustly taken out of circulation have often complained that Christians are being sidelined as other greetings like "Happy Holidays" have grown in popularity in order to include people who may celebrate seasonal holidays other than Christmas.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's office for comment.