Trump jokes about killing Obama's Thanksgiving turkeys

  • 22/11/2017
Lawyers told him his predecessor's turkey pardons couldn't be revoked.
Lawyers told him his predecessor's turkey pardons couldn't be revoked. Photo credit: Getty

President Donald Trump has joked about killing former president Barack Obama's Thanksgiving turkeys during the traditional presidential turkey pardoning.

Joined by his wife, Melania, and their son, Barron on Tuesday (local time), Mr Trump entered the Rose Garden for the annual ritual.

But the Republican president couldn't resist referring to his predecessor, who pardoned two turkeys named Tater and Tot last year.

"As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor," Mr Trump quipped.

"However, I have been informed by the White House Counsel's Office that Tater and Tot's pardons cannot, under any circumstances, be revoked."

Americans traditionally feast on turkey, stuffing and other delights on the Thanksgiving holiday, which takes place this coming Thursday.

Mr Trump has raised eyebrows by mulling his power to pardon as investigators probe possible ties between his 2016 election campaign and Russia.

However he used his authority in a less controversial way to "pardon" a Thanksgiving turkey, granting freedom to a large white bird named Drumstick and his pal Wishbone.

"I'm pleased to report that, unlike millions of other turkeys at this time of the year, Drumstick has a very, very bright future ahead of him," Mr Trump said.

The turkeys will live at an enclosure at a nearby university, Virginia Tech.

Allegations of potential ties between Mr Trump's presidential campaign and Moscow have loomed over the White House and investigations are ongoing.

Mr Trump and Moscow have denied collusion. In a message on Twitter in July, Mr Trump noted that as president he had "complete power to pardon."