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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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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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