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Trump pardons Thanksgiving turkeys and jokes that Obama's turkeys are also safe from the chop

The turkey pardoning is an old White House tradition.

Source: CNBC/YouTube

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump wielded his pardon power today to spare a pair of turkeys from the Thanksgiving roaster, joking that he would also not be overturning the pardons given to Obama’s turkeys last year.

In a brief and light-hearted White House ceremony, Trump extended the annual presidential tradition of pardoning turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving, an act of leniency that prolongs the lives of Minnesota-bred gobblers Wishbone and Drumstick, with the latter receiving the formal reprieve.

Trump said he and the first lady have welcomed many special visitors to the White House, including world leaders, Congress members “and, along the way, a few very strange birds. But we have yet to receive any visitors quite like our magnificent guest of honour today, Drumstick.”

“I’m pleased to report that unlike millions of other turkeys at this time of the year, Drumstick has a very, very bright future ahead of it,” he said. Trump announced that Drumstick “and his friend Wishbone” will spend the rest of their lives on the campus of Virginia Tech, joining Tater and Tot, the two turkeys that were pardoned last year by President Barack Obama.

Trump, who has undone numerous Obama initiatives, used the opportunity to poke fun at the former president:

As many of you know, I’ve been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor. However, I have been informed by the White House counsel’s office that Tater and Tot’s pardons cannot, under any circumstances, be revoked. So we’re not going to revoke them. So Tater and Tot, you can rest easy.

Before declaring that Drumstick had been pardoned, Trump took a moment to thank service members and first responders, as well as the public.

“This Thursday, as we give thanks for our cherished loved ones, let us also renew our bonds of trust, loyalty and affection between our fellow citizens as members of a proud national family of Americans,” Trump said in the Rose Garden, flanked by his wife and 11-year-old son, Barron.

Source: CNBC/YouTube

His daughters Ivanka, a senior White House adviser, and Tiffany, a law school student; Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, also a senior White House adviser; and the first lady’s parents also attended the ceremony.

Trump was headed later Tuesday to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he was spending the holiday with family.

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Trump will return to a White House that will have been transformed for Christmas by an army of volunteer decorators and florists who will spend the weekend decking its halls.

DC: US President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Participate in the 2017 Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon Ceremony US President Donald Trump with his son Barron and First Lady Melania Trump. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The first lady and Barron yesterday accepted delivery of the official White House Christmas tree. It goes on display in the White House Blue Room.

Presidents as far back as Abraham Lincoln have spared turkeys. President George H.W. Bush is credited with turning the pardon into an annual tradition.

Read: Fifteen years after Bush’s ‘axis of evil’, Trump puts North Korea back on US terror list >

Read: New Zealand Prime Minister says story that Trump mistook her for Trudeau’s wife is ‘muddled’ >

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