Trump Ruffles Few Feathers at Turkey Pardoning


President Donald Trump issued his first turkey pardon Nov. 21 and managed to throw in a few punny jokes before pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Drumstick. 

Trump joked that he and first lady Melania Trump had welcomed a parade of foreign leaders and dignitaries, members of Congress, "and, along the way, a few very strange birds,” but have yet to receive any visitors quite like “our magnificent guest of honor today, Drumstick.”

Fowl Pardon (Getty Images)

Drumstick was raised in western Minnesota under the supervision of National Turkey Federation Chairman Carl Wittenburg and his wife Sharlene, the White House said. He was accompanied by another lucky fowl, Wishbone, who was not pardoned. 

The pair stayed at the Willard InterContinental Hotel until their moment of fame. 

Trump also assured guests that although he has been “very active” in overturning a number of executive actions by his predecessor, last years pardoned turkeys Tater and Tot pardons cannot, “under any circumstances be revoked.” 

The National Turkey Federation first presented a turkey to President Harry Truman in 1947. However, former President George H.W. Bush started the tradition of sparing the turkeys' lives in 1989. 

Both Drumstick and Wishbone will be shipped off to their permanent home at Virginia Tech’s “Gobblers Rest,” where students and veterinarians will care for the turkeys and the public can visit them for the rest of their lives. 

Drumstick weighs in at 47 pounds, a bit heavier than his counterpart Wishbone who weighs 36 pounds. They both have their favorite bands and strutting style. Drumstick enjoys a tall and proud strut to some Journey, while Wishbone prefers strong shuffle and the music of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. 

Drumstick made his presence known a few times with the distinctive call of his species, prompting Trump to say, “I hear that beautiful turkey.”