Fact Check

Did President Trump Reverse President Obama's Turkey Pardons?

Reports that President Trump "revoke[d] all sixteen Thanksgiving Day turkey pardons," ordering the birds executed by firing squad, were satirical.

Published Jan. 25, 2017

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President Trump ordered the execution of several turkeys pardoned by President Obama.


On 24 January 2017, the website Real News Right Now published an article reporting that President Trump had reversed multiple Thanksgiving turkey pardons issued by President Obama, ordering the execution of five surviving pardoned turkeys:

In another sweeping move aimed at undoing the perceived damage done by the Obama administration, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order on [24 January 2017] directing the Department of Justice to revoke all sixteen Thanksgiving Day turkey pardons issued by the former president during his eight years in office.

“After reviewing the decisions made by the previous administration, President Trump has determined that a number of turkey pardons issued by Barack Obama were done so in a manner that was both deceitful and hazardous to the American people,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced on Tuesday. “This morning, the president once again used his executive powers to see to it that justice is served and that the surviving creatures will be destroyed.”

Like all content published by Real News Right Now, the story was satirical in nature, although the site offered no disclaimer specifically identifying its material as such. However, the site's "About" page includes several obvious indicators, such as its humorous claims that author R. Hobbus J.D. has received non-existent awards such as the "Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence" and the "Stephen Glass Distinction in Journalistic Integrity."

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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