US President Donald Trump, who raised eyebrows by raising his power to pardon during the ongoing probe into Russian meddling, has used his authority in a less controversial way to “pardon” a Thanksgiving turkey.
Joined by his wife Melania and their son Barron on Tuesday, Mr Trump entered the White House Rose Garden for the annual presidential tradition of granting freedom to prospective Thanksgiving dinners.
The President sparing two turkeys, named Wishbone and Drumstick, from the dinner table.
“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.
Americans traditionally feast on turkey, stuffing and other delights on the Thanksgiving holiday, which takes place this coming Thursday.
The Republican president couldn’t resist referring to his predecessor, former Democratic President Barack Obama, 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.”
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”.