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Pres. Trump pardons turkey at annual WH event

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday partook in the White House’s Thanksgiving tradition of the president “pardoning” turkey, with this year’s lucky bird being one named “Corn.” The White House had conducted a Twitter poll on Monday to see if users wanted Corn or his friend “Cob” to be pardoned, with Cob getting the short end of the drumstick.

The two turkeys were chosen from a flock of 30 presented to the White House by the National Turkey Federation, with the flock having been raised in Iowa. The pair will be retired to and put under the care of veterinarians at Iowa State University, where visitors will be able to study poultry science, veterinary medicine, and farming, the president said.

“We’re here today to continue a beloved annual tradition: the presidential pardon of a very, very fortunate turkey,” Trump said at the Rose Garden event, then joking that “because Thanksgiving is a special day for turkeys–I guess probably for the most part not a very good one, when you think about it.”

He then went on to discuss this year being the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock in present-day Massachusetts, comparing the hard times they faced during their first winter to the hard times the country is facing right now with the coronavirus pandemic. At another moment, he thanked those who have been working in health care.

At the end of the ceremony, President Trump, accompanied by the First Lady, walked over to Corn to deliver the pardon, saying, “Corn, I hereby grant you a full pardon. Thank you, Corn.”

The tradition originates back in 1863 during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln when he rewarded clemency to a turkey, according to the White House Historical Association, but that the tradition evolved into its current form in 1989 when then-President George H.W. Bush allegedly used the term “pardon.”

This will be Trump’s final turkey pardon as president, with the General Services Administration on Monday night officially beginning the transition of the presidency to President-elect Joe Biden.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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DHS protects ‘privacy’ of migrants on terror watchlist

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Fox News reporter Bill Melugin filed a Freedom of Information Act request that sought the nationalities of individuals on the terror watchlist who entered the United States illegally. No more identifying information such as their names or location were requested; nonetheless, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responded that the right to ‘privacy’ of the migrants on the watchlist outweighs the public’s right to know.

The denial of the request occurred on the same day that at least one illegal immigrant reportedly on the terror watchlist was apprehended while attempting to infiltrate the Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia, reports Just The News.

“The privacy interests of the individuals in the records you have requested outweigh any minimal public interest in disclosure of the information,” the department told Melugin in a letter, he wrote in a post on X. “Any private interest you may have in that information does not factor into the aforementioned balancing test.”

Melugin pushed back on the rejection in a post to social media on Thursday, defending his request for the information and claiming that most of the rejection had nothing to do with what he was asking for. He also vowed to appeal the decision.

“I did not ask for any names, IDs, addresses, anything that would breach privacy, nor did I ask for any law enforcement sensitive information,” Melugin said. “I simply requested *only* the nationalities of people arrested on the list, so the public can have an understanding of where in the world they are coming from.”

Just The News adds that the border crisis and influx of illegal migrants has resulted in at least 736 known or suspected terrorists being released into the country in fiscal year 2023. In this fiscal year, at least 210 known or suspected terrorists have been apprehended and then released into the country as of March 22.

 

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