Washington, February 5 (RHC)-- U.S. President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday in an unprecedented move during the State of the Union address. First Lady Melania Trump placed the medal around the neck of Limbaugh, one day after the controversial talk show host revealed he has advanced lung cancer.
Earlier, in comments to reporters before the State of the Union address, Trump noted that Limbaugh has been a staunch ally 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 Rush 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 he told his audience he is beginning treatment, which will require him to miss the show some days.
Limbaugh has been hosting "The Rush Limbaugh Show" for 31 years. His broadcasts have been known for their sexist and racist content, openly boasting reactionary positions.
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.