President Trump pardons a turkey at the White House as annual tradition

Arturo Kim
November 21, 2018

But the tradition of the formal turkey pardoning, as we know it today, didn't start in earnest until President George H.W. Bush in 1989, who jokingly passed down a pardon to the turkey presented to him as animal rights activists protested nearby, according to the White House Historical Association.

In a speech with references to the recent midterm elections, Donald Trump announced that a turkey named Peas had won a public vote on the White House website to be guest of honour, while Carrots would be the alternative turkey.

This year's turkeys hail from a farm in South Dakota. "Nonetheless, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will be issuing both Peas and Carrots a presidential pardon".

Prior to the pardon, President Trump joked about the "fair and open election" that selected the two turkeys, and warned that that even though they were about to be pardoned, "House democrats are likely to issue them both subpoenas".

The $9,400 (approx.) brown coat - featuring bright red, black and white shapes - brought Melania Trump back into the headlines (on Twitter at least) for yet another one of her sartorial choices. Peas loves ice fishing, Brad Paisley and watching planes go by.

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President Trump also joked about the turkeys getting subpoenas from House Democrats. "This was a fair election", he continued.

"Carrots, I'm sorry to tell you the result did not change", Trump added. I will tell you we've come to a conclusion.

Trump was traveling to his Florida estate later Tuesday to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family.

"As many of you know, I've been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor", Trump said past year. Trump's first set of turkeys, Drumstick and Wishbone, have already died, not living as long as President Obama's final set of turkeys, Tater and Tot.

The turkeys made their debut in Washington Monday, posing for photos at the Willard Hotel - the tony hotel a block from the White House - and then spent the night in one of the Willard's suites.

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