President Trump released a statement following the news that radio giant Rush Limbaugh had passed away Wednesday morning due to complications from lung cancer.
“The great Rush Limbaugh has passed away to a better place, free from physical pain and hostility,” Trump said in a statement received by PJ Media. “His honor, courage, strength, and loyalty will never be replaced. Rush was a patriot, a defender of Liberty, and someone who believed in all of the greatness our Country stands for. Rush was a friend to myself and millions of Americans—a guiding light with the ability to see the truth and paint vivid pictures over the airwaves. Melania and I express our deepest condolences to his wonderful wife, Kathryn, his family, and all of his dedicated fans. He will be missed greatly.”
Trump also appeared on Fox News to react to the news, telling Harris Faulkner and Bill Hemmer, “There aren’t too many legends around, but he is a legend.”
Rush Limbaugh announced last February that he had Stage 4 lung cancer. The day after Rush’s announcement, President Trump revealed that he would be awarding Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the coming months. Rush and his wife Kathryn attended Trump’s State of the Union address that day, and Trump surprised everyone by having the medal presented to Rush during the State of the Union address.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian in the United States and was established by executive order by President John F. Kennedy. According to the executive order, the medal may be awarded by the president “to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1), the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Trump said on Fox that Rush called the experience “the greatest honor of his life.”
“Rush was very sick at the time. He was at a hospital in Boston,” Trump recalled. “It was a very difficult thing for him to come into Washington from where he was, and he did it.”