Basketball coach Jerry West received the Medal of Freedom Thursday, but President Donald Trump indicated it was more about the 2016 election vote than it was West's excellence.
According to Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters, Trump said in the Oval Office that fact "West Virginia supported him so forcefully in 2016 probably helped Jerry West get the Medal of Freedom today."
.@realDonaldTrump says the fact that West Virginia supported him so forcefully in 2016 probably helped Jerry West… https://t.co/ap5rYin8t6— Jeff Mason (@Jeff Mason) 1567716895.0
"Is that how the Medal of Freedom works?" asked Black News.
is that... how the Medal of Freedom traditionally works? https://t.co/GjhHyrDg8J— Blake News (@Blake News) 1567716937.0
Trump has given the Medal of Freedom to several friends and right-wing ideologues. The Washington Post noted in June that he uses the Medal of Freedom much like he uses the power of the pardon: by awarding his friends.
"So far, of the 10 medals Trump has awarded, one has gone to a woman and two to persons of color," The Post reported. "That proportion is roughly in line with those awarded by former Republican presidents. Of all those who received medals from Republican presidents, about 85 percent were men and 83 percent were white. By contrast, of the recipients recognized by Democratic presidents, approximately 77 percent were men and 75 percent were white."
You can watch the video below:
.@POTUS awards NBA icon Jerry West with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Oval Office. https://t.co/UyyOlkIQWv— Sean Doody (@Sean Doody) 1567717879.0