Trump awards the Medal of Freedom to a few golfers the day after the Capitol rebellion

US President Donald Trump looks on after presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Celtics basketball legend Bob Cousy in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 22, 2019.

Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

One day after the riot among his supporters in the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump turned to the Gulf.

Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to retired professional golfers Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player on Thursday, as well as posthumously to babe Didrikson Zaharias, who died in 1956.

Trump, who in his last public appearance on Wednesday called on Vice President Mike Pence to reject the November election results, presented the medals in a closed ceremony.

Trump’s remarks to supporters of the White House rally came just before a joint session of Congress to confirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

Pence, who chaired the event, rejected Trump’s request to reject legitimately cast votes.

Trump’s supporters swarmed around the Capitol, broke through the ranks of police officers and invaded the convention halls. The riots dropped the trial and resulted in lockdowns and evacuations, as well as the deaths of at least four people. At least 50 police officers were injured, police said. The National Guard was activated to respond to the attack.

Congress convened again that evening and finally confirmed Biden’s victory after 3 a.m. on Thursday.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civil honor. It recognizes individuals who “have made particularly meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural, or other significant public or private endeavors”.

Thursday’s three recipients will join Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Charlie Sifford and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to receive the award, according to NBC’s Golf Channel, which first covered the award on Thursday.

Trump is an avid golfer and his company, the Trump Organization, owns numerous golf club resorts. The President has visited these clubs hundreds of times during his tenure.

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are divisions of NBCUniversal.

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