The president lovingly stroked Drumstick's rear before pardoning the bird and his friend, Wishbone, outside the White House on Tuesday.
Drumstick and its alternate, Wishbone, will then reside at their new home, 'Gobbler's Rest, ' at Virginia Tech.
"Wow, big bird", the President said as he approached the 36-pound turkey, petting it several times.More news: New Moore accuser alleges US Senate candidate restrained, groped her at 16
One pardonee, referred to as "Drumstick" by the White House, is a heavy-set, white male with a wingspan of about five feet.
The National Turkey Federation first presented a turkey to President Harry Truman in 1947, making this year the 70th anniversary of the Thanksgiving ritual. "So Tater and Tot, you can rest easy", Trump said of last year's feathered guests. As for "strut style", Drumstick does his thing "tall and proud" and Wishbone's more of a "strong shuffle". "He refused; he was a tough cookie". It's the 70th year that the trade group has presented the US president with a turkey to mark the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Kennedy, Nixon and Carter administrations reportedly turned away turkeys they were presented with, and sending them off to farms became common practice under President Reagan, according to the WHHA.
Whether or not that's true, the first documented turkey pardon was given by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.