WASHINGTON—Pardoning a turkey, as per White House tradition, proved to be one of President Donald Trump’s lighter duties this year.
The president pardoned Drumstick, and his sidekick, Wishbone, during the annual Thanksgiving Presidential Pardon in the White House Rose Garden. He was joined by his wife Melania and son Barron.
Drumstick, the 36-pound turkey on display was well-behaved, letting out just a few resounding gobbles.
“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. He refused. He was a tough cookie,” Trump said. “Today, I’m going to be a much nicer president.”
Trump said he and Melania have welcomed many special visitors to the White House over the last 10 months, “and, along the way, a few very strange birds.”
Drumstick, and the backup bird, Wishbone, were raised on a turkey farm in Douglas County, Minnesota. The two will now live out their days at “Gobbler’s Rest,” on the Virginia Tech campus, along with last year’s turkeys, Tater and Tot.
“As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor,” Trump said. “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.”
Trump thanked the military and law enforcement prior to the pardon.
“To the finest and bravest people in the entire world, our great men and women in uniform: the military, law enforcement, first responders. These are incredible people. So, thank you,” he said.
“I’d also like to express my thanks to the wonderful citizens of our country—the people who care for our communities, raise America’s children, uphold our laws and our values, and make this amazing land into our national home.”
Trump will depart the White House this afternoon to spend Thanksgiving in Florida.