Toby Keith National Medal of the Arts
Greg Allen/Invision/AP and Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP

Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs Awarded National Medal of the Arts by President Donald Trump


NBC News reported on Jan. 13 that in the same afternoon as his second impeachment, President Donald Trump awarded the National Medal of the Arts to country music singers Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs.

The White House confirmed the following day that Keith, Skaggs, wartime photojournalist Nick Ut, longtime National Gallery of Art director Earl "Rusty" Powell III and opera star Mary Costa.

Per the National Endowment for the Arts website, "the National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The National Medal of Arts is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups 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."


NBC and Today's Peter Alexander Tweeted that the closed ceremony happened in the White House's East Room.

Keith performed at President Trump's inauguration four years ago. The following year, the "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" singer played a concert in Saudi Arabia during Trump's first overseas trip.

Skaggs, a bluegrass lifer and Country Music Hall of Fame member, stated in 2016 (as quoted by The Hill) that Trump was "the right person in the right place, and that it's prophetic."

The award ceremony followed Bill Belichick's recent refusal to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump.


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As reported by the Associated Press and shared by Rare, "Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for a historic second time Wednesday, charged with 'incitement of insurrection' over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office."

The news about Keith and Skaggs came a week after violence at the nation's Capitol and a week before Joe Biden's inauguration.

The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans voting in favor of impeachment.


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