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President Donald Trump, who is under the cloud of an impeachment inquiry into his dealings with Ukraine, presents the Medal of Freedom to Edwin Meese III a former top aide to President Ronald Reagan.
Meese served as legal secretary, executive assistant and chief of staff to Reagan when he was governor of California. He worked on Reagan's presidential campaign, became a White House aide and then rose to attorney general during Reagan's second term.
Meese, who helped rebuild the Republican party in the 1960s, has been a member of conservative think tanks including The Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society.
"This prestigious award is the Nation's highest civilian honor, which may be awarded by the President to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," the White House said in a statement.
"Since leaving public service, Edwin Meese has continued to champion our Nation's founding principles through his extensive work at The Heritage Foundation."
Past recipients of the award include golfer Tiger Woods, baseball player Mariano Rivera and economist Arthur Laffer.