President Trump spares turkey in second pardon of administration

Trump joked that he will not try to revoke those pardoned by Obama.

Happily for the runner-up, both turkeys will be spared the knife this Thanksgiving.

"Today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will grant a presidential pardon to a Turkey," said President Trump, flanked by wife, Melania, and son, Barron, at the Rose Garden ceremony.

The two providential poultry will join last year's lucky birds, Tater and Tot, at Virginia Tech's Gobbler's Rest exhibit, "to live out their days in the folds of the Blue Ridge Mountains," according to the university.

“As many of you know I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor,” Trump said. “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 are not going to revoke them. Tater and Tot, you can rest easy.”

The focus then turned back to the turkey of honor. "Drumstick, you are hereby pardoned," Trump told the bird. As applause erupted, the bird lifted his head to gobble at the crowd.


According to the White House Historical Associatiohn (WHHA), the practice of presidents saving turkeys from becoming holiday meals may date back to Abraham Lincoln.

"It was 70 years ago that the national Turkey federation first presented the national Thanksgiving Turkey to President Harry Truman, who I might add did not grant the pardon," Trump said. "He refused; he was a tough cookie."

"But let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone's dinner table, not this guy — he's granted a residential pardon as of right now — and allow him to live out his days on a children's farm not far from here," Bush said.

President Obama began the current tradition of pardoning two turkeys in 2009. But just as today, only one bird is honored at the annual ceremony. Recent honorees were chosen by vote on social media.