With only a few days left in his presidency, President Trump has reportedly awarded the National Medal of Arts to Ricky Skaggs and Toby Keith. The news was announced on Thursday, January 13, as the U.S House of Representatives was voting on Trump’s impeachment.
As of now, neither reps for Skaggs mor Keith have confirmed the new accolade. But a tweet by NBC‘s Peter Alexander seems to confirm the news.
“Trump is currently in the Oval Office awarding the National Medal of Arts to singers Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs, minutes after becoming the first president ever impeached twice,” Alexander tweeted.
Trump is currently in the Oval Office awarding the National Medal of Arts to singers Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs, minutes after becoming the first president ever impeached twice.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) January 13, 2021
He later added that the award ceremony had already taken place, in the East Room of the White House, Trump’s home for less than a week, until President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
The National Endowment for the Arts awards the honor to artists who “are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.” Previous recipients include Alison Krauss, Sally Field, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton, among others.
According to Billboard, Skaggs has spoken out in support of Trump, previously saying, “I believe Donald Trump is the right person in the right place, and that it’s prophetic.” Keith performed for Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
Skaggs recently revealed that he was recovered after quietly undergoing quadruple bypass surgery earlier this year.
“Scripture tells us God always knows the thoughts of man,” Skaggs told People. “That was proven to me at that moment, because while I did not speak it from my mouth, I thought about putting the angiogram off for a week. When I thought that thought, it was like I saw the Lord with a jeweler’s eye glass on. He was peering at me but never said a word. But just by His look, I knew He was saying, ‘Absolutely no.’ It put the fear of God in me. He had given me so many grace situations, but He was serious that I needed to take care of this now.”