Can President Donald Trump not lay off the incessant angry political rhetoric for one hour? Tuesday, he led the traditional annual ceremony at the White House where the president pardons a turkey — in this case, Trump was set to “pardon” two of them known as “Peas” and “Carrots,” both of which will live the rest of their days at a facility at Virginia Tech.
During his opening remarks, he utilized the platform the occasion provided to lash out at his political opponents, mocking those concerned with counting every vote, uncovering the truth in murky situations involving possible criminal conduct, and beyond.
He quipped, for instance, speaking of the voting process meant to determine an official National Thanksgiving Turkey from the pair presented:
‘The winner of this vote was decided by a fair and open election conducted on the White House website. This was a fair election. Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting with Carrots. I’ll tell you, we’ve come to a conclusion — Carrots, I’m sorry to tell you, the results did not change. Too bad for Carrots.’
As has been widely publicized at this point, Democratic candidates down in Florida — led by the now outgoing incumbent Senate Democrat Bill Nelson — fell just barely behind their Republican challengers and got behind a recount effort. Issues cropped up during this process including absentee ballots potentially being inappropriately thrown out, questionable ballot design, and beyond, but to Trump it’s apparently all just a big joke.
He claimed on other occasions, without any evidence, that voter fraud was underway in Florida where votes for Democrats popped up late in tallies, but a federal judge in the state explicitly struck that notion down.
Although the final count in the Senate race did change somewhat after a machine and hand recount, Nelson remained behind Republican challenger and outgoing Florida Governor Rick Scott, and similarly, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum lost to the close Trump ally Ron DeSantis. Both Democratic candidates have now conceded.
Trump wasn’t done attempting to trivialize his opponents, however. He also brought up the issue of the incoming Democrat majority House.
Democrats have made their intentions to ramp up investigations of the Trump administration where Republicans have slacked abundantly clear.
‘Even though Peas and Carrots have both received a presidential pardon, I have warned them that House Democrats are likely to issue them both subpoenas… Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that your pardons won’t be enjoined by the Ninth Circuit — always happens.’
Trump has faced rulings against his policy moves from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the past on issues like his administration’s immigration policy.
Similarly to the case of his jab against recounts, he’s backed up this rhetoric with more substantive threats. He’s asserted that if Democrats come any closer in their investigative efforts, the GOP will launch their own petty punitive investigations of the left.
In other words, the president continues to seek to subject government to his incessantly petty political purposes.
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