President Trump used his presidential pardoning power Tuesday to spare a pair of lucky turkeys from Thanksgiving tables -- while joking that he won't reverse the pardons his predecessor granted for the holiday either.
Trump began the ceremony in the Rose Garden Tuesday with a little history of the turkey pardoning tradition, noting that President Harry Truman was the first to have the opportunity to do so.
“Truman did not grant the pardon—he was a tough cookie,” Trump said. “Today, I’m going to be a much nicer president.”
President George H.W. Bush in 1989 became the first president to actually pardon the poultry, turkey experts say. Trump's lucky recipients were 47-pound Drumstick and 36-pound Wishbone.
“Oh Drumstick—I think he’s going to be very happy,” Trump said. “Drumstick has a bright future ahead of him.”
Trump explained that Drumstick and “his friend Wishbone” would go on to join Tater and Tot—the two turkeys pardoned last year by Barack Obama—at a Virginia farm, safe from any Thanksgiving tables.
“As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning executive actions of my predecessor,” Trump joked. “But I have been told that Tater and Tots’ pardons cannot be revoked, so we’re not going to revoke. Tater and Tot, you can rest easy.”
The president pivoted to expressing his thanks for “the defense of our nation, our freedom, and truly great American flag,” also thanking law enforcement, service men and women and first responders.
Trump also thanked “the people who care for our communities, uphold our laws and values and make this amazing land into our national hall.”
Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump and his youngest son Barron.
“And now, I think Drumstick and Wishbone would be very thankful if we should just get around to the pardon,” Trump said. “They say–enough talk—just do the pardon.”
Laughter erupted through the Rose Garden as the president wrapped up.
“Wow! Wow! 36 pounds. That’s a big bird. I feel so good about myself doing this,” Trump joked. “Are you ready Drumstick?”
Moments later, the deed was done.
“Drumstick, you are hereby pardoned.”
Trump is traveling to Florida late Tuesday to spend his Thanksgiving holiday at his estate at Mar-a-Lago.