President Trump to pardon Thanksgiving turkeys ‘Peas’ and ‘Carrots’

White turkeys with blue sky in background one looking directly into camera

US President Donald Trump has used the power of his office to keep a pair of turkeys off the holiday table, in an annual Thanksgiving tradition.

Peas and Carrots will live the rest of their lives at Gobblers Rest Sanctuary on Virginia Tech's campus where they'll join Drumstick and Wishbone, who were pardoned by Trump previous year. This helps scientists to better understand how turkeys respond to health challenges, Dalloul told Live Science.

Peas, one of the South Dakota-bred turkeys that received a presidential pardon Tuesday, pleaded the Fifth.

The president's children from his previous marriages, Ivanka and Tiffany were also in attendance at the event. "They see people and they start showing off".

But how - and why - did this holiday tradition of pardoning turkeys begin?

More news: Trump to rally in Tupelo ahead of Senate runoff

The first president to grant clemency to an American turkey may have been Abraham Lincoln, according to the White House Historical Association (WHHA). But while these turkeys are guaranteed not to become dinner, these 20-week old birds likely only have a few good months of life left to live.

Trump's first set of turkeys, Drumstick and Wishbone, have already died, not living as long as President Obama's final set of turkeys, Tater and Tot. Sometimes these turkeys arrived "in elaborate crates and costumes", White House officials said in the statement. But President Donald Trump had a warning for the creature about House Democrats.

Peas was selected for the pardon in an online election conducted on the White House website.

President Ronald Reagan formalized the practice of "retiring" donated Thanksgiving turkeys to a farm, in 1981. As is tradition, one bird is always pardoned to become the National Thanksgiving Turkey while the other is there as the alternate, in case the bird meant to be pardoned is uncooperative.

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

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