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Published by The White House

Remarks by President Trump at the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony

November 26, 2019

Rose Garden
2:22 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Please.  And its always nice to begin by saying: The stock market is up again.  We just set another record, so we should say that.  Very substantially up.  (Applause.)  And I think thats 132 times that weve set a record from the time we got elected on that very great day.  But its its good to know.  A lot of people are very happy.
Were doing well.  Our country is doing very well.  And the First Lady and I are delighted to welcome you all to the White House on this magnificent autumn day.  On behalf of the entire Trump family, I wish each and every one of you a very happy Thanksgiving.  Its going to be a great Thanksgiving.
Were glad to be joined today by Representatives David Rouzer and Jason Smith and a man who has done an and, I have to say, they are warriors.  They have all been great warriors.  Mark Meadows, thank you very much.  The three of you, please stand up.  They are warriors (applause) and great people.  And Deb, thank you very much for being here.  Thank you.
Thanks also to the President of the National Turkey Federation, Joel Brandenberger; and its Chairman, Kevrin [Kerry] Doughty, who is here with his family and his wife, Jan.  Where is Ker-  Jan, thank you very much.  Please, stand up for what you do.  Hes also the head of Butterball the Chairman of Butterball.  (Applause.)  Thats the biggest there is.  Great job.  And we appreciate your involvement.  Thank you very much.
As we gather this week with loved ones across our beautiful land, we give thanks to God for the many gifts that he has bestowed upon us.  Today, we also come together to honor the beautiful, feathered friend the noble turkey.  Now, thats a beauty.
Its said that Abraham Lincoln was the first President to spare a Thanksgiving turkey, at the request of his son.  In 1947, President Harry Truman accepted the first annual National Thanksgiving Turkey.  In the decades that followed, Presidents, from Kennedy to Reagan, would show mercy
(The turkey gobbles.)
See?  (Laughter.)  Wow.  Thats a strong bird.
to their birds, but it was George H.W. Bush who first issued an official pardon.
In keeping with that tradition, today I will issue a pardon to a pair of very handsome birds: Butter and his alternate, Bread.  (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT:  Thats true.  Look at you.
Their names were chosen by the students of Harrells Christian Academy in North Carolina.  Great state.
Bread and Butter were raised in Tar Heel State by farmer Wellie Jackson, whos here with us with his wife Tara and their lovely family.  And I want to thank you very much.  Great job.  Great job.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)
Thankfully, Bread and Butter have been specially raised by the Jacksons to remain calm under any condition, which will be very important because theyve already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiffs basement on Thursday.  (Laughter and applause.)  Its true.   Hundreds of people have.  It seems the Democrats are accusing me of being too soft on turkey.  (Laughter.)
But, Bread and Butter, I should note that. unlike previous witnesses, you and I have actually met.  (Laughter.)  Its very unusual.  (Applause.)  Very unusual.
In any event, I expect this pardon will be a very popular one with the media.  After all, turkeys are closely related to vultures.  I dont know if I like that line, but there is a little truth to it.
But today, after, the birds will retire to Gobblers Rest at Virginia Tech great college where they will be cared for and enjoy a terrific life.
This Thanksgiving, we bow our heads in gratitude for the newfound prosperity and spirit thats taking place all across America.  The country has never been more successful.  Our military has been rebuilt.  We captured the number-one terrorist in the world and killed the number-one terrorist in the world al-Baghdadi.  And I want to thank our military because theres nothing like our military.  (Applause.)
And I want to thank almighty God for the shedding his grace on our nation.  Our nation is special and we especially send our love to members of the United States Armed Forces serving all around the world.  We are forever thankful for those who wear our nations uniform and the families who support them.  The families are so important.  They can never be the same without those great families.  Because of their selfless service, millions of our follow Americans are celebrating another wonderful Thanksgiving in safety and in peace.
And its just a very special country, a very special place the Rose Garden at the White House.  If youre looking back here, thats the Oval Office.  Some of you havent been here before.  But every time we walk onto the grounds of the White House, we realize how special it is.
So now we reach the moment Bread and Butter have been waiting for so patiently their presidential pardons.  Melania and I wish all Americans a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  We love you all.
Butter, lets talk to you for a second because Im going to do something that youre going to be very happy about.  Uh oh, that looks like a dangerous bird.  (Laughter.)  It just escaped.
Wow.  Butter, I wish you a lot of luck.  But I hereby grant you a full and complete pardon.  (Applause.)  Good.  Full and complete.  (Applause.)
Thank you all very much.  That was great.  A lot of fun.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.
END                2:29 P.M. EST