WASHINGTON: Egged on by White House guests, Donald Trump pardoned a turkey named "Drumstick" on Tuesday (Nov 21), while jokingly vowing not to overturn similar Obama-era acts of presidential forgiveness.
Trump, well preened for the cameras, marked his first Thanksgiving in the White House by continuing a tradition that historians believe dates back to Abraham Lincoln's time.
Trump has already issued one pardon in office, forgiving controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had cracked down on immigrants and defied a court order. But this was his first avian saving.
"Hi Drumstick," Trump said in the Rose Garden, flanked by First Lady Melania Trump, with their son Barron Trump playing wingman.
"Oh, Drumstick, I think, is going to be very happy," said Trump, not brooding on the topic for long. "Are you ready, Drumstick? Drumstick you are hereby pardoned."
Trump also continued the fowl tradition of questionable presidential jokes at the ceremony.
"As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor," Trump said.
"However, I have been informed by the White House Counsel's Office that Tater and Tot's pardons cannot under any circumstances be revoked."
"So we're not going to revoke them. So Tater and Tot, you can rest easy," Trump said of last year's feathered guests.
Trump did not answer a shouted question from the press about whether he intends to pardon any more humans, amid rumors he may step in to save campaign aides from prosecution.