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Rush Limbaugh awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom in surprise State of the Union move

Rush Limbaugh
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday.

  (CNN) -- President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday in an unprecedented move during the State of the Union address.

First lady Melania Trump placed the medal on the visibly surprised Limbaugh, one day after the talk show host revealed he has advanced lung cancer.

"Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis. This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet," the President said during his speech, thanking the radio host for his "decades of tireless devotion to our country."

Trump, in announcing the award, highlighted Limbaugh's charity work.

"I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom," Trump said, instructing the first lady to bestow the medal on Limbaugh.

Limbaugh had not been publicly announced as a White House guest for the State of the Union until Tuesday evening, just prior to the address' start.

Trump told network anchors during a private lunch earlier Tuesday that he planned to award Limbaugh with the Medal of Freedom.

Limbaugh has been a staunch ally of the President's for years, and dined with him at his Palm Beach golf club over the holidays. Once, during an event in the Rose Garden, Trump praised Limbaugh as someone who "can speak for three hours without a phone call."

Trump wished the conservative radio talk show host a speedy recovery Monday after Limbaugh told his audience he is beginning treatment, which will require him to miss the show some days.

"I wish I didn't have to tell you this, and I thought about not trying to tell anybody, I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing, because I don't like making things about me," Limbaugh said Monday during a live broadcast. But "there are going to be days that I'm not going to be able to be here, because I will be undergoing treatment, or I'm reacting to treatment."

Limbaugh has been hosting "The Rush Limbaugh Show" for 31 years.

The Medal of Freedom is bestowed to "individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to the White House.

People close to Trump say he personally enjoys granting his friends the nation's highest civilian honor. He bestowed the award upon seven recipients in 2019, and several more the year prior.

Like presidents before him, Trump invites anchors from all the major networks to dine with him at the White House in advance of his State of the Union address. The conversation is considered off the record, but CNN was excluded this year, and therefore did not agree to the mandate. Other anchors did attend the lunch.

CNN

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6 Comments

  1. “Because it was such a dirty speech- I tore it up”- Nancy Pelosi’s statement on why she destroyed the President’s State of the Union Speech- February 4th 2020.

    What Nancy has described as “dirty” included the names of “Army Veteran Tony Rankins from Cincinnati- President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó- 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, an eighth grader from Arizona- has always dreamed of going to space- 100 year old Charles McGee one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen — the first black fighter pilots— the pilgrims-our Founders- from the soldiers at Valley Forge to the marchers at Selma, and from President Lincoln to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.- Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia- Janiyah’s mom Stephanie is a single parent- a 51-year-old American named Rocky Jones- murdered by an illegal living in a sanctuary city- Chief Border Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz- Parents to ISIS victim Kayla Mueller- Carl and Marsha Mueller- American war hero killed in action- Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake- military family Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her 2 children — 6-year-old Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan- her husband, Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment to the Middle East- Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt- Washington, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur- Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong- Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie Oakley- the pilgrims- Texas patriots at the Alamo- Rush Limbaugh- God Bless You. God Bless America.

    Nancy Pelosi called all this- all these names- all their accomplishments “DIRTY” !!! And then she ripped the pages and tossed them on the desk like garbage needing to be taken to the trash !

    It is time to remove this cancer on America and demand the removal of Nancy Pelosi !

    Martin Luther King-

    1. Well put! I couldn’t agree more….this old school democratic politician needs to step down. She and her husband have leeched off the nations teet long enough.

  2. Here’s a no-brainer… I predict that Nancy (Mental-Pause) Pelosi will “never” receive the President’s Medal of Honor- ever ! Her shenanigans last night created more than enough reasons and proof as to why America is not ready for a female President. Nancy Pelosi single-handedly re-set the woman’s movement back into the kitchen- over a fry-pan- with them fuzzy slippers on.

    So put your bra’s back on ladies- and pull granny’s chastity belt outta storage- thanks to Nancy Pelosi’s unhinged over-emotional outrage (akin to burning the biscuits) last night- the first woman President will have to wait a decade- or two- or three !

    ‘Orange Man-Bad”… “Granny throwing a tantrum- Badder” !

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