Trump grants pardons to turkeys 'Peas' and 'Carrots'

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The Kentucky turkey emerged victorious, per the White House Historical Association. All four birds have since died. Coolidge opted for turkey and kept the raccoon as a pet named Rebecca.

"Thanksgiving is a time of great American traditions and today we continue a very special one when a lucky turkey gets a presidential pardon", Trump said at the pardon ceremony.

The National Turkey Federation became the official turkey supplier to the first family in 1947 and the formal turkey presentation ceremony has been around since President Harry Truman.

Peas won the pardon and is now considered the National Thanksgiving Turkey. As did presidents through Lyndon B. Johnson, except for John F. Kennedy.

Richard Nixon also gave the birds a reprieve, sending his turkeys to a nearby petting zoo.

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Trump said in the statement, which began with two lines the likes of which are rarely seen in an official White House statement: "America First!" and "The world is a very unsafe place!"

"He's granted a presidential pardon as of right now", Bush said.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Trump took the short walk to a table positioned near his podium and uttered these words with his right arm high in the air: "Peas, I hereby grant you a full pardon".

As the audience waited for the president and first lady, Ivanka Trump was seen running after Theodore, who made a break for it. Actually, presidents pardon two turkeys because, as with the Miss America beauty pageant, a runner-up is picked in case the victor can't perform its duties.

Trump poked fun by saying that House Democrats may try to ruffle some feathers and subpoena the turkeys as they live out their retirement. "Always happens", Trump said jokingly.

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Trump, alongside US first lady Melania Trump, approached the table where Peas sat and pardoned the turkey.

This year's turkeys hail from a farm in South Dakota. They were picked from "the Presidential Flock" of turkeys that were acclimated from a young age to "sounds of a crowd" and "bright camera lights", the Turkey Federation says.

On Monday, reporters took pictures of the two South Dakota-raised birds relaxing in their room at the Willard InterContinental Hotel, where basic rooms start at $189 a night.

And despite the pardons, he said, they shouldn't relax.

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