All fowl is fair in the White House's annual turkey pardon.
During a comfortably chilly Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, heralded in the Thanksgiving holiday in front of a crowd of friends, family, and a few key administration officials.
“As we gather together with our families on Thanksgiving and give thanks for our many blessings, we are reminded of the national family to which we all belong as citizens of this incredible country,” Trump remarked to a crowd of family and invited guests in the White House Rose Garden.
Two turkeys were presented to the American people via social media over the weekend — Drumstick and Wishbone — complete with their own unique character traits, including strut style and favorite musician:
Drumstick was the turkey chosen to be the one in the limelight come Tuesday afternoon. (Wishbone, as has been tradition in recent years, was the alternative — the “wingman.”)
Both birds, however, got treated to a lavish stay at the luxury Willard resort — a privilege extended to few D.C. guests.
The president made a point to note that during the first official turkey pardon in 1947, President Harry Truman “did not grant the pardon. He refused. He was a tough cookie.”
As the crowd let out a laugh, Trump promised his pardon would be far different. “Today, I'm going to be a much nicer president,” he joked.
Though that didn't stop Trump from taking a comedic jab at his predecessor.
“As many of you know, I have been active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor,” Trump remarked. “However I have been informed by the White House counsel's office that Tator and Tot's pardons cannot under any circumstances be revoked.”
This bit of levity comes during a tense time when many critics of the administration criticized Trump's use of executive orders to overturn many policies laid out by the Obama administration.
After playing out to more laughter, the president pushed on, joking that the first family had received a menagerie of unique guests, foreign leaders, and heads of states “and, along the way, a few very strange birds.”
“But we have yet to receive any visitors quite like our magnificent guest of honor today, Drumstick,” he added.
Drumstick let out a hearty gobble, perhaps proud that his life, unlike so many other of his turkey brethren, was spared this holiday season.
Drumstick and Wishbone will live out the rest of their lives at Virginia Tech's Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences which has seemingly been nicknamed “Gobblers Rest." (Here's where our tale turns dark, though. According to NPR, the presidential turkeys are doomed to perish soon after their pardoning due to their size.)
President Trump ended his remarks on a sentimental note, wishing the entire crowd a happy Thanksgiving.
“As we give thanks for our cherished loved ones, let us also renew our bonds of trust, loyalty, and affection between our fellow citizens as members of a proud national family of Americans,” Trump said.