Trump awards Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh

Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 04, 2020

One day after conservative talk radio linchpin Rush Limbaugh announced his cancer diagnosis, President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Tuesday's State of the Union.

News broke earlier on Tuesday as CNN reported that Trump made the announcement off the record at a gathering of news anchors to preview tonight's State of the Union address. CNN was not invited to the gathering of news leaders, and thus was not subject to the embargo.

Limbaugh has been a staunch Trump backer, having spent time with him at Trump's resorts.

"This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet. Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country," Trump said.

First Lady Melania Trump presented Limbaugh the award from the gallery.

Limbaugh has been been a nationally syndicated talk show host for 31 years, and is heard in hundreds of markets from coast to coast.

It was on Limbaugh's own show on Monday that he delivered the devastating news that he has advanced lung cancer. He told listeners that he plans to continue hosting the show, but he may need to take some days off to focus on treatment.

Limbaugh was just the third radio personality to ever be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the first since Paul Harvey was bestowed with the award in 2005.

The Medal of Freedom has been used over the last six decades to honor civilians who advance the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.