Donald Trump hasn’t had a lot to laugh about lately, but he took the opportunity presented by the annual Rose Garden ceremony pardoning turkeys to gently rib his tormentors in the media and Congress and to mock their efforts to find something to impeach him with.
Trump was in rare form as he joked at Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s expense.
In the latest evidence that the impeachment fight is all-consuming, Trump wise-cracked that the birds already had been summoned to appear for the House Intelligence Committee chairman’s inquiry.
“These turkeys will remain calm under any condition,” Trump said. “Which is good because they’ve been subpoenaed to appear in Adam Schiff’s basement on Thursday.”
Schiff, a Democratic California congressman, just wrapped up two weeks of hearings in the impeachment inquiry and is now working on a report to send to the Judiciary Committee. The testimony featured claims that top officials linked a White House meeting, and possibly aid, to a request for Ukraine to launch investigations of Democrats.
But witnesses also acknowledged they either did not hear such a condition from Trump, or hadn’t even met Trump — a point Trump indirectly made as he pardoned the two turkeys.
“Unlike previous witnesses, you and I have actually met,” Trump said to the birds on Tuesday.
Don’t forget the media, Mr. president:
For good measure, Trump took a swipe at the media as well: “I expect the pardon will be popular with the media,” Trump said. “After all, turkeys [are] closely related to vultures.”
As for the turkeys, they are living in the lap of luxury. Their names are “Bread and Butter” and they hail from North Carolina. While in Washington, they stayed at the exclusive Willard Hotel. (Trump should have put them up at his own hotel in D.C., which would have really rubbed his foes’ faces in it.)
After being pardoned, the birds will spend the rest of their days relaxing on the campus of Virginia Tech.
The White House staff got into the spirit of the occasion.
Bread is a 45-pound turkey who likes Cheerwine, bluegrass music and college basketball, according to the White House. Butter weighs 47 pounds and enjoys eating sweet potato fries, listening to bagpipes and watching NASCAR.
Trump wasn’t the only one funning with turkeys. The Babylon Bee reports that one of the pardoned turkeys was found murdered after he claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The official cause of death was suicide, though the bullet wounds were in the back of the turkey’s head and the bird lacked opposable thumbs with which to operate a firearm.
The turkey had been publicly pardoned for the crime of being delicious and set free by Trump in a popular White House Thanksgiving tradition. Shortly after being released, the turkey confirmed its possession of “credible” information that would lead to the indictment of Hillary Clinton, posting on the bird’s social media account that it was a good thing Trump had pardoned the turkey, so the world could find the truth out about the Clintons. (Note for the ignorant: Babylon Bee is a satire site.)
Ben Franklin was right. The Continental Congress should have named the turkey our national bird rather than the bald eagle. What could be more American than a turkey that loves NASCAR?