Hard-right radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed on Monday that President Donald Trump, who had honored him with the Medal of Freedom earlier this month, personally told him to stand by the homophobic attacks he’d made against 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg.
Limbaugh, who is currently undergoing treatment for advanced lung cancer, said during his radio program that Trump called him after a medical procedure.
“Rush, I just gotta tell you something: Never apologize. Don’t ever apologize,” Trump said, according to the radio host.
Limbaugh said he didn’t know what Trump was talking about until his wife told him about the backlash over him repeatedly mocking Buttigieg as “a gay guy” who “loves kissing his husband on the debate stage” last week. Buttigieg had fired back a few days later, saying he was “not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh,” who has been married four times.
On Monday, Limbaugh insisted his comments weren’t homophobic.
“I simply was engaging in political analysis that is politically incorrect as far as the left is concerned,” he said.
The White House did not respond to TPM’s request for confirmation of the call on the record.