WASHINGTON — President Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom Tuesday to Edwin Meese III, calling the former attorney general “a titan” and “a star.”
Meese was attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and has since been a longtime conservative legal and thought leader at the Heritage Foundation.
“He was a star,” Trump said of Meese’s work in the Reagan administration during a crowded Oval Office ceremony.
“You are a loyal fighter for freedom, champion for law and order,” Trump told Meese.
“You’re just an inspiration, period.”
Trump put the medal around Meese’s neck and praised him for a “lifetime of exceptional service and devotion to our country.”
Meese was joined by his wife, Ursula, and their children, grandchildren, grandson and other family members. Also on hand were conservative radio host Mark Levin and his wife Julie, who are personal friends of Meese.
Meese, 87, thanked the president and said he would cherish the medal forever. He praised Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for making “one of the finest teams we’ve ever had in our country.”
Meese thanked President Reagan, his family, his colleagues and friends, including Levin.
Levin also spoke and thanked Trump “for everything you’re doing for this country.”
The White House gave Meese the highest civilian honor because he “helped to craft a foreign policy strong enough to end the Cold War and played a pivotal role in securing historic tax cuts,” a White House statement said. “As Attorney General, he promoted Federalism and the original public understanding of our Constitution.”
Trump has awarded the Medal of Freedom to a number of politicians and athletes.
The recipients have included former Yankee closer Mariano Rivera, former NBA players Jerry West and Bob Cousy, golfer Tiger Woods, former Sen. Orrin Hatch and former NFL quarterback Roger Staubach.
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