On Jan. 13, 2021, just one week after the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol that left five dead, President Donald Trump became the first U.S. president ever to be impeached twice. According to The New York Times, this time, Trump was charged with “incitement of insurrection,” referring to the call-to-action for his supporters at his D.C. rally just moments before the riots ensued. One incriminating statement he made was for his defenders to “fight like hell” for his perceived — and inaccurate — notion that election fraud won President-elect Joe Biden the presidency in 2020.
Though Trump took to Twitter during the attack on the Capitol, partially encouraging peace, he also declared his “love” for the mob, telling them they’re “very special,” as per CNN. (His account was permanently suspended two days later due to “the risk of further incitement of violence.”) In fact, one House Republican, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, voted to impeach because he believes “the president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
While this historic second impeachment will certainly leave a stain on Trump’s time as president, he was reportedly busy awarding musicians during one of the most defining moments of his presidency.
Donald Trump was formally honoring country singers at the time of his second impeachment
According to Bloomberg News‘ Senior White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs, sources revealed that Trump was “giving … national medal of the arts” awards to country singers Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs during the vote for his impeachment. Additionally, an “administrative official” confirmed that Trump was indeed granting these medals during that time, according to The Hill.
Both Keith and Skaggs had previously shown support for Trump. As per Billboard, Keith performed at the “MAGA” celebration the day before the president’s inauguration in 2017. As for Skaggs, he sang Trump’s praises to the Gossip Herald back in November 2016. “I love [Trump’s] enthusiasm and his fighting spirit. He’s not going to let anyone bulldoze over him because he’s a bulldozer himself. Mr. Trump is someone who tears down and rebuilds,” he explained, calling Trump “the right person.”
While Trump’s actions during his impeachment may be shocking, it’s certainly not surprising that these are two artists to whom he would give National Medals of the Arts.
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