President Trump says he’s been informed that he can’t reverse Obama’s last turkey pardons: “So Tater and Tot, you can rest easy” pic.twitter.com/HZ8mvLOkJM
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 21, 2017
For decades, U.S. presidents have pardoned Thanksgiving turkeys. But could this be reversed? Could a POTUS turn over his predecessors’ decision to absolve those birds for the crime of being tasty with gravy and mashed potatoes?
Donald Trump joked Tuesday that his lawyers told him no, he couldn’t revoke the reprieve Barack Obama granted to turkeys Tater and Tot in 2016.
“As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor,” Trump said in his own ceremony. “However, I have been informed by the White House counsels office that Tater and Tot’s pardon cannot, under any circumstances, be revoked.” He said the birds could “rest easy.”
He pardoned turkeys Wishbone and Drumstick at the ceremony.
Even when the president is joking, there is a pointedness to his statements. He defined his campaign in contrast to Obama, and has followed suit in knocking down many of his predecessor’s policies and landmark legislation: The Affordable Care Act, DACA, rules meant to fight climate change, voluntarily sharing the White House visitor logs, and even a ban on elephant trophy imports.
[Screengrab via NBC]