President Donald Trump cracked several timely turkey jokes during Tuesday’s annual Thanksgiving pardon, dropping in impeachment quips and a playful shot at the news media during the brief ceremony.
Trump appeared alongside first lady Melania Trump at the White House to offer a pardon to this year’s turkeys, “Butter,” and alternate “Bread,” for the tradition which dates back to Abraham Lincoln saving a turkey at the request of his son, Tad. Trump noted that former President George H.W. Bush made the pardon an official event before taking a few jocular swipes at Democratic congressman Adam Schiff and the ongoing impeachment inquiry. Trump also thanked the family of Clinton, North Carolina farmer Wellie Jackson for raising the “beautiful birds.”
“Thankfully Bread and Butter have been specially raised by the Jacksons to remain calm under any conditions,” Trump said, setting up his first joke Tuesday. “Which will be especially important because they’ve already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff’s basement on Thursday. Hundreds of people have!”
Many Republicans have accused Schiff and House Democrats of holding “secretive” impeachment hearings in the basement of Congress. Trump then moved on to the recent unrest between the nation of Turkey and the Kurdish U.S. allies in Syria.
“It seems the Democrats are acusing me of being too soft on Turkey, but Bread and Butter I should note that unlike previous witnesses, you and I have actually met,” Trump said with a chuckle. “Very unusual, very unusual.”
“In any event, I expect this will be very popular with the news media, after all turkeys are very closely related to vultures,” Trump said, before essentially confirming his staff had written the prepared jokes. “I’m not sure I like that line, but a little truth to it.”
During last year’s Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony, the president made several similar political jokes about the decision of which turkey gets spared before Thursday dinners across the country. Last year’s turkeys were named “Peas” and “Carrots” and the year before the pair were dubbed “Tater” and “Tot.”
“The winner of this vote was decided by a fair and open election conducted on the White House website, this was a fair website, but unfortunately Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount and we’re still fighting with Carrots.”
Despite Trump’s cheerful holiday comments, the House is expected to vote on impeachment before the next major U.S. holiday of Christmas.
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