Former President Donald Trump recounted in a TV interview that his decision to award Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom was based on suggestions from “a lot of great people of our country — largely Republican.”
Trump joined “Hannity” on Wednesday to remember the conservative trailblazer, who died at age 70 after a battle with lung cancer.
During his State of the Union speech last year, Trump awarded Limbaugh the award, which recognizes people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
“It was an idea that we had that a lot of people suggested to me, frankly, a lot of great people of our country, largely Republican,” Trump told host Sean Hannity.
“It was an amazing night because the Republicans went wild and the Democrats sat there, but they all respected Rush,” he added.
First lady Melania Trump presented the nation’s highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in an emotional moment that marked what Trump called one of the radio host’s “great honors of his life.”
“Presidential Medal of Freedom — It’s a big deal, and he was very honored by it,” the former president said.
“I got to know him right after coming down the escalator [to announce my candidacy in July 2015]. He was there right from the beginning,” Trump said, revealing that he had checked in with Limbaugh regularly to inquire about his health.
“Rush was so great, and it was something very special to know him. A very terrific man,” he said, adding that Limbaugh managed to do what “a lot of people couldn’t.”
“He could just talk for three hours, no phone calls, no anything, just talk and everybody found it spellbinding,” he said.