Donald blasts former defence secretary at bizarre White House ...

DONALD has headed his final presidential turkey pardon ceremony, using the occasion to look back over a tough year and cement his current policies.

PUBLISHED: 00:42, Wed, Nov 25, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:06, Wed, Nov 25, 2020

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The US president also issued what may have been a veiled swipe at his former defence secretary Jim Mattis. The turkey pardon is a presidential tradition and ceremony in which one turkey is chosen not to be slaughtered, as tens of millions routinely are for the US Thanksgiving holiday.

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Earlier this week, Mr Mattis had urged Mr ’s rival Joe Biden to quickly reverse the current “America first” foreign policy strategy.

Writing in Foreign Affairs magazine on Monday, the former defence boss urged Mr Biden to “quickly revise the national security strategy to eliminate ‘America first’ from its contents, restoring in its place the commitment to cooperative security that has served the United States so well for decades”.

He added: “The best strategy for ensuring safety and prosperity is to buttress American military strength with enhanced civilian tools and a restored network of solid alliances — both necessary to achieving defence in depth.”

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Donald Trump speakingDonald speaking at a short White House press briefing earlier on Tuesday (Image: Chip Somodevilla / Getty)

At the turkey pardon event, Mr backed up the 'America first' rhetoric.

He told attendees: “We send our love to every member of the armed forces and the law enforcement heroes risking their lives to keep America safe, to keep America great, and, as I say, ‘America first.’ Shouldn’t go away from that: America first.”

In a less subtle swipe at Mr Mattis, the president had also taken to Twitter earlier on Tuesday to call him the “world’s most overrated general”.

READ: Donald vows to 'keep up good fight' after GSA declare Joe Biden US president

Donald Trump at turkey pardon eventMr spoke out on a number of topics at the turkey pardon event - but did not refer to the election (Image: Chip Somodevilla /

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