Trump-hat-wearing Santa pulled from Georgia mall

The Mall at Waycross (Ga.) Shopping Center said they're hiring a new Santa after the current one was spotted on social media wearing a President Donald Trump campaign hat. (The Mall at Waycross Shopping Center)

WAYCROSS, Ga. (First Coast News) - A Southeast Georgia Santa Claus will be looking for a new gig after the manager of the Mall at Waycross Shopping Center said the jolly one was wearing a Trump 2020 hat on duty Thursday.

Mall manager James White told First Coast News on Friday that the retailer was unaware of Jolly Old St. Nicholas' public display of his political leanings.

"We were not aware it happened," White said about a picture posted on Facebook on Thursday and shared by hundreds of Georgians in the area. "It was done completely without our knowledge," White added hours before Santa's 4 p.m. Friday shift.

"It's safe to say he will not be wearing this hat around here. This particular Santa has been replaced," White said. He became aware of the photo circulating on social media when someone shared it with him Friday morning.

"Our kids are our focus and we put a lot of hard work into this," White said. "We want children to believe in Santa for as long as they can and the spirit of giving.

Mall management was quick to respond when a customer shared the photo with them.

"We apologize for this occurrence and will be addressing this right away. The Mall at Waycross does not support any specific political party. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Kindly, Mall Management"