“Just shoot that bird”: President Trump foregoes tradition of pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving

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The American president, Donald J. Trump, has put a rather abrupt end to the tradition of pardoning a turkey before Thanksgiving.

In front of a large group of children, journalists, and admirers, the President was presented with the large bird which he was expected to pardon.

Instead of “pardoning” the bird, Mr. Trump rapidly broke with the usual protocol and ordered his staff to kill the turkey, before leaving the room.

“Just shoot that bird! I don’t have time for this, I have a country to save!” 

As the crowd appeared shocked by Mr. Trump’s comments, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rapidly stepped in to defend the President’s actions.

“The President has more important things to do than pardon a stupid bird. That turkey will be on the presidential table for Thanksgiving and that’s the end of it.”

The 20-lb bird was rapidly carried away by the White House staff, in front of dozens of crying children.

For decades, the "pardon of the turkey" has been a tradition respected by all presidents.

For decades, the “pardon of the turkey” has been a tradition respected by all presidents.

The official “pardoning” of White House turkeys is a White House tradition often stated to have begun with President Lincoln’s in 1863.

His alleged “clemency to a turkey” recorded in an 1865 dispatch by White House reporter Noah Brooks, who noted, “a live turkey had been brought home for the Christmas dinner, but [Lincoln’s son Tad] interceded in behalf of its life. . . . [Tad’s] plea was admitted and the turkey’s life spared.”

The formalities of pardoning a turkey were, however, consecrated in 1989, when President George H.W. Bush “pardoned” the turkey presented to him for Thanksgiving.

It has since become a tradition for the president to pardon a turkey or two at Thanksgiving and announce that they will live out their days in the comfort and care of Kidwell Farm in Herndon, Virginia

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