Melania Trump Looks Bold in Dior at Turkey Pardoning Ceremony

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It's a tradition like no other at the White House, the annual pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey. This year's turkeys, Peas and Carrots, will be headed toward Virginia Tech where they will be watched over by poultry science students.

At this time of the year we reflect on all of the many blessings of our lives", he said, segueing into the order of the day "when a lucky turkey gets a presidential pardon. "Always happens", Trump said jokingly.

President George H.W. Bush established the annual turkey pardon tradition in 1989 by sparing a 50-pound bird. "That turkey is so lucky".

National Turkey Federation chairman and South Dakotan Jeff Sveen debuted the turkeys during a ceremony at the Huron Area Chamber and Visitors Bureau before their road trip to Washington, DC and overnight stay at the legendary Willard Hotel.

"However, I have been informed by the White House counsel's office that Tater and Tot's pardons can not, under any circumstances, be revoked".

President Abraham Lincoln is credited as being the first to free a turkey after it was sent to the White House in late 1863. By then many of their feathered friends back in South Dakota will have become turkey sandwiches.

"Peas, I hereby grant you a full pardon", Trump said.

Trump also told Peas and Carrots that House Democrats "are likely to issue them both subpoenas".

The turkey that received the official pardon was decided by a vote conducted on the White House website. "Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we're still fighting with Carrots", Trump said, receiving some light laughter.

Mr Trump continued: "And I will tell you we've come to a conclusion".

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

The presidential turkey pardoning ceremony also allows presidents to poke fun at themselves and their political opponents in a good-natured fashion.

"The "Presidential Flock" is raised much in the same way as turkeys marketed for United States customers - protected from weather extremes and predators in a barn, free to strut about with constant access to water and a feed mix of corn and soybeans". Actually, presidents pardon two turkeys because, as with the Miss America beauty pageant, a runner-up is picked in case the victor can't perform its duties.