Trump follows turkey pardoning tradition
November 22, 2017
Following tradition, President Donald Trump today pardoned Drumstick, the official National Thanksgiving Turkey for 2017 and Wishbone, its alternate.
Trump was accompanied to the Rose Garden by his wife Melania and son Barron. His adult daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany, were in the audience, along with Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner and their children.
White House agriculture aide Ray Starling and his daughter Victoria were among the officials in the audience.
"Unlike millions of other turkeys at this time of the year, Drumstick has a very, very bright future ahead of him," Trump said. "Upon being pardoned, Drumstick and his friend, Wishbone, will live out their days at "Gobbler's Rest" — beautiful place. It's custom-built; it's an enclosure on the campus of Virginia Tech. Tremendous school. There, they'll join Tater and Tot, the two turkeys pardoned last year by President Obama."
Trump also joked that, while he has rescinded many of Obama's actions, the White House general counsel informed him that he could not take back the pardons for Tater and Tot.
Trump also noted when the National Turkey Federation presented the first turkey to President Harry Truman in 1947, Truman did not pardon it.
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Truman "was a tough cookie," Trump said. "Today, I'm going to be a much nicer president."
The president also thanked Carl Wittenburg, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, his wife, Sharlene, and sons, Nate and Wyatt and five young women from the Douglas County, Minnesota, 4-H chapter for raising the turkeys.
He also thanked the National Turkey Federation for bringing along two other turkeys from Jaindl's Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pa., to be donated to Martha's Table, a Washington charity that provides warm meals to people in need. "They do a fantastic job," Trump said.