Trump bestows Medals of Freedom on Adelson, Babe Ruth, Elvis and others

Trump said Scalia transformed the American "legal landscape" and credited him with preserving the originalist view of the Constitution. The Adelsons donated $30 million to Trump's campaign in the final months of the 2016 race.

"Through decades of innovative research, philanthropy and treatment, Miriam has helped thousands break free from their addiction to drugs and alcohol", Trump said.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah received the award.

Before introducing Presley's award, "How Great Thou Art", as sung by Presley, played throughout the East Room.

Barack Obama honored in his tenure as US President including Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and the former activists of the civil rights movement John Lewis with the freedom medal.

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Trump's most controversial pick was philanthropist Miriam Adelson, the wife of GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson. "I will tell you he was something special".

"From rewriting our tax code to helping just hard-working Americans get through life, to reshaping our courts, ... to protecting the religious freedom of all Americans, his achievements are too numerous to count", Trump said. She has also supported Jewish schools, Holocaust memorial organizations, and Israeli military personnel and veterans, the White House noted. Orrin Hatch and six others at a White House ceremony. "You didn't make the front row", Trump said. It was coordinated by the staff secretary's office, incorporating recommendations from the public, relevant presidential advisory bodies, the Cabinet and senior White House staff, she said.

Lynch (USN, Ret.), a former captain of the 1963 Navy Cotton Bowl team, says there's never been a Naval Academy graduate to receive this award.

Speaking about Hatch, Trump offered bluntly: "He liked me from the beginning and therefore I like him".

"Joining us for this ceremony is (Judge Scalia's) wife, Maureen - who has become a great friend of my family, myself - and their nine children", Trump said before listing each of the Scalia children.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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