fb-pixel Skip to main content

Photos: Trump pardons turkey in Thanksgiving tradition

President Donald Trump pardoned Corn, the national Thanksgiving turkey.
President Donald Trump pardoned Corn, the national Thanksgiving turkey.Susan Walsh/Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an annual Thanksgiving tradition, President Donald Trump offered a reprieve to a pair of meaty turkeys as he made a public appearance Tuesday following the Nov. 3 elections.

The National Turkey Federation presented the two birds. They are named Corn and Cob in honor of their home state of Iowa. Only Corn was declared the national Thanksgiving turkey, though both will retire to a new home on the campus of Iowa State University.

It’s not the first time the typically light-hearted turkey pardon ceremony has taken place in a tense time for the nation.

Trump used last year’s pardon to make jokes about the impeachment process. The House would go on to approve two articles of impeachment the next month and the Senate would subsequently vote to acquit him.

Advertisement



In 2018, Trump’s joked about one of the turkeys contesting the pardon election. The scenario he described bears a striking resemblance to the one he faces today.

“This was a fair election,” the president joked. “Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting with Carrots. But I will tell you, we’ve come to a conclusion. Carrots. I’m sorry to tell you, the result did not change. That’s too bad for Carrots.”

The practice of sending a turkey to a farm became the norm under President Ronald Reagan. But George H.W. Bush established the annual turkey pardon tradition in 1989 by sparing a 50-pound bird as animal rights activists picketed nearby.

President Trump speaks before pardoning Corn, the national Thanksgiving turkey.
President Trump speaks before pardoning Corn, the national Thanksgiving turkey.Susan Walsh/Associated Press
President Donald Trump spoke before pardoning Corn.
President Donald Trump spoke before pardoning Corn.Susan Walsh/Associated Press
National Thanksgiving turkeys 'Corn' and 'Cob' rested in their 4th floor room at the Willard InterContinental Hotel.
National Thanksgiving turkeys 'Corn' and 'Cob' rested in their 4th floor room at the Willard InterContinental Hotel.Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Turkey wranglers Peter Gruhl (left) and Leslee Oden release national Thanksgiving turkeys 'Corn' and 'Cob' from their carriers.
Turkey wranglers Peter Gruhl (left) and Leslee Oden release national Thanksgiving turkeys 'Corn' and 'Cob' from their carriers.Chip Somodevilla/Getty