Donald Trump caresses turkey's rear before pardoning it for Thanksgiving

Donald Trump caresses turkey's rear before pardoning it for Thanksgiving

Donald Trump caresses turkey's rear before pardoning it for Thanksgiving

The president lovingly stroked Drumstick's rear before pardoning the bird and his friend, Wishbone, outside the White House on Tuesday.

Some historians point to President Abraham Lincoln's decision to free a Christmas bird that his son had grown fond of as the first presidential turkey pardoning. There they will join Tater and Tot, the two turkeys pardoned past year by President Obama.

But I guess the Thanksgiving tradition did offer some light in what seems to be a very dark end to the year. Trump is set to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The annual turkey presentations continued, but the Presidential pardon didn't catch on.

How to watch: The White House will be live-streaming the occasion.

"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", Trump said.

"As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor", Mr Trump quipped. "He was a tough cookie. Tater and Tot, you can rest easy".

The annual pardoning ceremony only began in 1989 under President George H.W. Bush, though earlier presidents occasionally said they planned to spare the animals they were presented.

Gone were the groan-inducing dad jokes and lighthearted fun of Obama's turkey pardons. Recent honorees were chosen by vote on social media.

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