Trump Riffs on Impeachment, Adam Schiff Before Turkey Pardon

November 26, 2019 by Dan McCue
President Trump pardons Butter, the national Thanksgiving Turkey, as first lady Melania Trump looks on. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump seized on the traditional pardoning of a Thanksgiving turkey Tuesday to offer an extended, off-the-cuff riff on impeachment and the Democrat leading the inquiry, California’s Adam Schiff.

Officially, the president and first lady Melania Trump appeared in a packed White House Rose Garden to pardon the national Thanksgiving turkey — this year a 47-pounder named Butter.

In doing so, Trump said he would also spare the 45-pound Bread, Butter’s partner and alternate, wishing them both “a lot of luck.”

But Trump couldn’t resist joking about the impeachment inquiry, ignoring the script displayed on a large television monitor rolled into the garden to note that Bread and Butter “have been specially raised … to remain calm under any condition.”

“Which will be very important because they’ve already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff’s basement on Thursday. It’s true, hundreds of people have,” the president said.

He added: “It seems the Democrats are accusing me of being too soft on Turkey. But Bread and Butter, I should note that unlike previous witnesses, you and I have actually met.”

The president’s remarks were generally well-received by the Rose Garden attendees, which included acting chief of Staff Mick Mulveney, the President’s daughter, Tiffany Trump, as well as Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz.

However, he did go a step too far for many at one point, when he tried to make a joke likening members of the press to “vultures.”

“Ok, even I didn’t like that one,” he said, filling a brief awkward pause in the proceedings.

A short time later a reporter yelled, “Are you planning on pardoning anybody else?”

With that Trump turned and left the podium, he and the first lady disappearing back inside the Oval Office.

Presidents have been pardoning turkeys as far back as Abraham Lincoln’s administration, when, the story has it, the president’s young son asked his father to spare a pet turkey that would have been their Thanksgiving dinner.

Lincoln, a president known for his sense of humor, is also said to have started the tradition of bestowing the pardon after a light-hearted speech.

The National Turkey Federation became the official turkey supplier to the first family in 1947 and the formal turkey presentation ceremony has been around since President Harry Truman.

Truman was the first to accept a turkey from them — however, it must be noted, he did not spare it.

The Turkey pardon has been an annual event at the White House since 1989, when President George H.W. Bush revived the tradition to kick off the holiday season.

Bread and Butter were raised by Butterball turkey farmer Wellie Jackson in Clinton, North Carolina. Having spent Monday night at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel a block away from the White House, the duo will now spend the rest of their natural lives at Gobbler’s Rest at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

In the meantime, the National Turkey Federation estimates that more than 46 million of their turkey brethren are expected to be consumed across the country on Thursday.

In The News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87. Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said. Ginsberg’s death... Read More

Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic Pressure
In The News
Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic Pressure

WASHINGTON — The months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic already spelled trouble for the Rome Water System and the tiny community it serves in the Mississippi Delta. A tornado tossed around several homes, closed roads and left the community without power for two weeks. Lightning... Read More

More People with Felony Convictions Can Vote, but Roadblocks Remain
In The News
More People with Felony Convictions Can Vote, but Roadblocks Remain

WASHINGTON — More than ever, Eric Harris is mindful of the elected officials around him: The school board members deciding whether his children will go back to the classroom, the sheriff influencing how officers interact with people like him, and the U.S. president steering the country’s... Read More

Wanted: Poll Workers Able to Brave the Pandemic
In The News
Wanted: Poll Workers Able to Brave the Pandemic

WASHINGTON — Dave and Diane Schell, a retired social studies teacher and a retired human resources professional from South Windsor, Connecticut, left their careers in 2015, and have worked the polls at their local precinct every election since. But not this November. The Schells — he’s... Read More

Coronavirus, Trump Chill International Enrollment at US Colleges
Education
Coronavirus, Trump Chill International Enrollment at US Colleges

WASHINGTON — Chittawan Boonsitanon started junior year at Michigan State University last week from his home in Bangkok, 8,500 miles and half a world away. Boonsitanon said many international students decided months ago to take classes online, before Michigan State administrators in mid-August urged all undergraduates... Read More

Trump Administration’s Census Plan Might Leave Out Some Legal Residents
Census
Trump Administration’s Census Plan Might Leave Out Some Legal Residents

WASHINGTON — A Trump administration plan to use the census to exclude from congressional representation immigrants who are living here illegally might inadvertently exclude many U.S. citizens living under the radar in states such as Alaska, New Mexico and West Virginia. Last week, a federal appeals... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top