President Donald Trump pardons turkey in annual White House tradition

Posted November 22, 2017

The president lovingly stroked Drumstick's rear before pardoning the bird and his friend, Wishbone, outside the White House on Tuesday.

Following his speech, Trump formally pardoned Drumstick, the turkey in the Rose Garden at the White House, with his family by his side.

The two turkeys will now live out their lives at Virginia Tech University at a place called Gobbler's Rest.

Trump added: 'As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor.

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"However, I have been informed by the White House counsel's office that Tater and Tot's pardoned can not, under any circumstances, be revoked".

The focus then turned back to the turkey of honor. Trump says Drumstick was the victor, though both birds usually are given a reprieve. The 47 pound turkey's favorite band is Journey and has a "tall and proud" strut style, according to the White House.

Not all those birds were as lucky as Wishbone and Drumstick, whose names were selected by a White House social media poll.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A good presidential turkey is stuffed with showmanship. "He was a tough cookie".

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"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 him", Trump said.

The annual pardoning ceremony only began in 1989 under President George H.W. Bush, though earlier presidents occasionally said they planned to spare the animals they were presented. It's the 70th year that the trade group has presented the USA president with a turkey to mark the Thanksgiving holiday.

Trump thanked the military and law enforcement prior to the pardon.

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