Hillary Clinton’s ‘Santa’ is her hairdresser

Washington CNN —  

Hillary Clinton’s secret Santa is a hairdresser in New York.

The vague reference to “seeing Santa” early one summer 2009 morning included in the latest batch of Clinton’s emails released by the State Department had the Internet and TV networks buzzing about who she might have given such a nickname.

“I’m seeing Santa at 8:30 so won’t take off until closer to 9:30,” Clinton emailed aide Huma Abedin. “Is that ok?”

Two months later, Clinton made another reference to Santa, emailing Abedin: “The timing, however, is hard for a visit since I need to see Santa around 7:45 after seeing Lisa,” she wrote.

It wasn’t, though, a coded reference to some Washington figure.

It’s Santa Nikkels, the proprietor of Santa’s Salon and the hairdresser for both Hillary and Bill Clinton in Chappaqua, New York.

In May Nikkels posted on her hair salon’s Facebook page the link to a People magazine article featuring the people Clinton runs across in her neighborhood. She was also featured in a 2012 New York Times article about the Clintons’ connections to Chappaqua.

But she wasn’t willing to snip and tell on Thursday.

“I want to keep myself in a very conservative position and I don’t give information about clients,” she told CNN. “I don’t like to talk about who comes in here and who doesn’t.”

Clinton’s camp was contacted but did not respond to request for comment.

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CNN’s Elise Labott contributed to this report.