Limbaugh made his name by sharing conspiracy theories and controversial ideas. And former president Donald Trump was one among his many die hard fans.
On 17 February, 2021, Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio talk show host who was known for filling the airwaves with controversial statements, passed away at the age of 70 due to cancer, according to HuffPost. He was often credited with being the one who enabled right-wing radio to reach millions of Americans and became a Republican kingmaker years before Fox News did.
But before his death, for over the three decades that he was active, he not only had had a hand in transforming the Republican party, he also amassed millions of loyal fans. Among those fans was none other than former President Donald Trump. After Limbaugh's death, the businessman had a few words to say.
According to USA Today, during a phone interview with Fox News' Harris Faulkner and Bill Hemmer, Trump revealed that he last talked to Limbaugh “three or four days ago. His fight was very, very courageous and he was very, very sick.” The two had met for the first time in 2016 after Trump began his presidential campaign and they hit it off from the start.
The 74-year-old ex-president said, "He became a friend of mine. I didn't know Rush at all. I had never met Rush, and then when we came down the escalator he liked my rather controversial speech. I made that speech, it was a little bit on the controversial side and he loved it." Trump added, "He was with me right from the beginning. He liked what I said, he agreed with what I said. He was just a great gentleman, a great man."
Limbaugh's death saddened Trump. “Rush is irreplaceable, unique. He had an audience that was massive... He would get up in the show and just talk. He wouldn’t take phone calls, where people would call in every two minutes. That’s sort of easy to do. He would just talk for two hours or three hours, just talk," Trump said in the interview. "That’s not an easy thing to do. I once asked him, I said, ‘Do you study for the show?’ He said, ‘Actually, I study very hard,’ which a little bit surprised me.”
In fact, Trump had even awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the 2020 State of the Union, calling the talk show host “the greatest fighter and winner you will ever meet.” To present the man with the award was the 45th President of the United States' "greatest honor of his life." Those who attended the ceremony respected Limbaugh a lot, said Trump. "A hundred percent of that room respected Rush," Trump said.
Following his Fox interview, Trump and his wife, Melania offered their "deepest condolences." for the late radio show host. "His honor, courage, strength, and loyalty will never be replaced. Rush was a patriot, a defender of Liberty, and someone who believed in all of the greatness our Country stands for. Rush was a friend to myself and millions of Americans—a guiding light with the ability to see the truth and paint vivid pictures over the airwaves. He will be missed greatly," said Trump in a statement, according to Fox News.
Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Joe Raedle and (R) Mark Wilson