Trump jokes about courts blocking his order to pardon turkeys

President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE on Tuesday joked about his recent court battles during the annual White House turkey pardon.

Trump warned the two turkeys, named Peas and Carrots, that while they were receiving presidential pardons, a federal court could always block them.

“Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that your pardons won’t be enjoined by the 9th Circuit,” Trump told the turkeys. “Always happens. They guarantee it.”

Earlier Tuesday, a federal judge blocked Trump from denying asylum to migrants entering the U.S. illegally. Several of Trump’s executive orders and policy changes have also been blocked by federal courts.


Peas and Carrots were sent from South Dakota for the event and weighed in at 39 pounds and 41 pounds, respectively. They were among 50 turkeys raised for this year's pardoning event and will live at Virginia Tech’s “Gobbler’s Rest” exhibit going forward.

The turkey that received the official pardon was decided by a vote conducted on the White House website. Peas won the vote by less than 1 percentage point and received the official pardon.

Trump on Tuesday used the pardoning ceremony to also joke about recent electoral recounts in Florida.

“This was a fair election,” Trump said of the turkeys. “But Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount and we’re still fighting with Carrots.”

Trump also told Peas and Carrots that House Democrats “are likely to issue them both subpoenas.”

“All joking aside, this is a time for Americans to unite together in a spirit of love, understanding, unity and joy, as one very proud American family,” Trump said. “Our nation is doing well.”

Former President George H.W. Bush solidified the annual tradition of turkey pardoning in 1989, though other presidents going back to Abraham Lincoln have unofficially pardoned turkeys. 

Trump joked during last year's turkey pardon that while he had been "very active" in overturning Obama-era policies he had been told that he couldn't revoke the pardons issued for turkeys under his predecessor.

Toward the end of the event Tuesday, Trump also offered praise for the military and called on Americans to pray for those affected by the California wildfires, which have killed at least 79 people.

"We also pray for those in need, especially our fellow citizens impacted by the devastating wildfires in California, where I just came back. I've never seen anything like it. Probably, nobody has."