WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump left many people scratching their heads after he decried a movement, which no one appeared to be aware of, to rename Thanksgiving, during a rally in Florida Tuesday night.
“You know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving. They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving,” the president told the crowd of supporters, without explaining what he was referring to.
“That was true also with Christmas, but now everybody’s using Christmas again. Remember, I said that?” he said, comparing the shadowy threat to the gluttonous day’s moniker to his dubious claim that people had stopped telling each other “Merry Christmas” until he was elected.
“Now, we’re going to have to do a little work on Thanksgiving. People have different ideas why it shouldn’t be called Thanksgiving,” he said, again without elaborating on the identity of the feast’s alleged detractors.
“But everybody in this room I know loves the name Thanksgiving and we’re not changing it,” he defiantly declared.
Trump’s claim confounded many observers. Even the hosts of “Fox & Friends,” who are generally credulous when it comes to the president, appeared skeptical on Wednesday morning’s show.
“I don’t think there’s a huge push to change the name of Thanksgiving. Is there?” asked co-host Brian Kilmeade.
Co-host Steve Doocy suggested Trump may have been referring to a debunked 2015 hoax that claimed then-President Barack Obama was changing the holiday’s name to “Celebrate Immigrants Day.”
But Fox News has promoted the idea of a “War on Thanksgiving” and that college liberals want to “cancel Thanksgiving” for weeks, according to the left-wing watchdog Media Matters.
“Liberals are coming for your Thanksgiving turkey,” Greg Gutfeld warned viewers on the Nov. 6 episode of “The Five.”
“They want to fight a war on Thanksgiving? They lost the war on Christmas. They want to fight again?” asked a flabbergasted Jesse Watters.
Their fears of a new front in the holiday wars were sparked by a HuffPo article published Nov. 5 that looked at the environmental impact of people traveling the nation to gorge on turkey with relatives.
On Wednesday, Doocy suggested Trump may have been influenced by the article that his network had so thoroughly attacked.
“Perhaps what he is talking about is just all these stories about your carbon footprint and the amount of energy you use to travel over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house,” Doocy suggested.
While many on Twitter were equally unclear what the president was referring to, other users gobbled it up and offered their thoughts on the issue, using #WhatLiberalsCallThanksgiving and #WarOnThanksgiving hashtags.