Speed Reads

2020 state of the union

Rush Limbaugh just received the Medal of Freedom during the State of the Union

President Trump used part of his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to praise controversial conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh.

"Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country," Trump said. "Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

Limbaugh was sitting next to first lady Melania Trump, who presented him with the award. The radio host announced on Monday that he has advanced lung cancer.

Limbaugh has courted controversy throughout his career — among other things, he called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a dog, mocked Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease, and called contraception activist Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute." The New York Times' Maggie Haberman said Trump awarding Limbaugh the medal during the State of the Union was "a key example of an emboldened president doing what he can, because he can."