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Obama pardons turkeys: 'I know some will call this amnesty'

In the midst of an overwhelming week of intense news, President Obama, joined by daughters Sasha and Malia, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to ensure two turkeys, both males, named Mac and Cheese, would not be served at anyone's dinner table this Thanksgiving.

"I am here to announce what I'm sure will be the most talked about executive action this month," the president began, poking fun at critics of his recent executive order on immigration.

"To spare the lives of two turkeys, Mac and Cheese, from a terrible and delicious fate," he continued. 

Obama acknowledged the oddity of the turkey pardoning tradition, especially at a time of such international turmoil. "It is a little puzzling that I do this every year," he said, "but I will say that I enjoy it because with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office it's nice once in a while to just say Happy Thanksgiving."

When asked by her dad if she would like to pet Cheese the turkey, Malia Obama responded, "Nah."

Mac and Cheese will get to live out the rest of their days at a 10,000 acre Virginia estate.

The official White House turkey pardon is a tradition that has taken place on and off since at least Reagan's presidency, although some claim President Lincoln was the first to reprieve a bird in 1865. 

The tradition as it as known today was solidified by the first President Bush in a response to animal rights activists picketing near the White House.

President Obama, the first lady, and daughters Sasha and Malia will give back to the Washington, D.C. community this evening by serving up some not-so-lucky turkeys at a Thanksgiving dinner at a to-be-announced location.

QUIZ: The ultimate 'turkey day' test