President Trump and first lady Melania Trump celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday with the traditional pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey.

The event marks Mr. Trump’s first time in public since the General Services Administration told President-elect Joe Biden they’re ready to start the formal transition process.

Mr. Trump exercised his pardon power during a Rose Garden event, granting the turkey named “Corn” a full pardon. The other turkey, Cob, will live, too.

“Corn, I hereby grant you a full pardon!” Mr. Trump said, pardoning the turkey.


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Mr. Trump, who hasn’t taken questions from reporters since Election Day, didn’t respond to shouted questions after the pardoning. Before the turkey pardon, Mr. Trump called this time “very unusual but in so many ways very very good,” saying the nation can give thanks for vaccine progress.

“We give thanks to the priceless freedoms that we’ve inherited and we ask God to watch over and protect our nation,” the outgoing president said. 

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Both birds, who made the trek from Iowa to Washington, D.C., for Tuesday’s event, are expected to live out the rest of their days at Iowa State University. Corn and Cob were raised by Ron Kardel, chairman of the National Turkey Federation and a sixth-generation farmer from Walcott, Iowa.

Following the event, the President tweeted, “On behalf of the entire Trump Family, I want to wish every American a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving! Today we gathered in the Rose Garden to continue a beloved annual tradition: the Official Presidential Pardon of a very fortunate Thanksgiving Turkey….”

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