President TrumpDonald TrumpAppeals court dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence Kentucky governor calls vandalism to McConnell’s home ‘unacceptable’ Pence ‘welcomes’ efforts of lawmakers to ‘raise objections’ to Electoral College results MORE plans to give Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesJudge dismisses Nunes’s defamation suit against Washington Post GOP puts pressure on Pelosi over Swalwell Sunday shows preview: US rolls out first doses of coronavirus vaccine; Congress close on stimulus deal MORE (R-Calif.) the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor in the U.S. for a civilian, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Sunday.
The president is expected to award the California Republican with the Medal of Freedom on Monday, the newspapers reported, citing officials familiar with the plans. Nunes has been a staunch ally and defender of Trump throughout his presidency.
Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanSunday shows preview: Senate candidates brace for Georgia runoffs; government continues coronavirus vaccine roll out House chairman to press ahead for McGahn testimony in new year Sunday shows preview: Nation gears up for inoculation following FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine MORE (R-Ohio), another supporter of the president in the House, is also supposed to receive the Medal of Freedom next week, according to the newspapers, though those plans are not finalized.
The Washington Post was the first to report that Nunes and Jordan are expected to receive the medals in the closing days of Trump’s presidency.
The award is intended to acknowledge “exceptional contributions” to national security, world peace or cultural and other “significant” endeavors. Previous presidents have given the Medal of Freedom to members of Congress but usually at the end of their public service career or for something unrelated to their congressional service, the Times noted.
Both Nunes and Jordan defended Trump during the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and during the House’s impeachment inquiry in 2019 – probes that Trump labeled as “witch hunts.”
The two Republicans rallied behind the president, spreading unfavorable information about the Justice Department investigators and loudly condemning the Democrats during impeachment inquiry hearings for investigating Trump for attempting to pressure Ukraine to look into now President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence Romney: Plan to challenge election ‘egregious ploy’ that ‘dangerously threatens’ country Pence ‘welcomes’ efforts of lawmakers to ‘raise objections’ to Electoral College results MORE.
The White House did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the reports. An official schedule the White House released for Monday did not include an award ceremony for Nunes, although it could be added later.
Trump floated the idea of giving Nunes the Medal of Freedom during an October 2018 interview on “Fox & Friends” when he served as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. At first, Trump proposed giving the representative the Medal of Honor, which is only given for acts of military valor, before correcting himself and saying Nunes deserved the Medal of Freedom.
“What he’s gone through, and his bravery, he should get a very important medal,” Trump had said.