Trump gives Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Trump presented the Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese on Tuesday. The 87-year-old served as attorney general during the Reagan administration.

Meese was known as President Ronald Reagan’s right hand man. On Tuesday he stood with President Trump to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“I couldn’t be happy or more grateful to any person than for what you’ve given us here today,” Meese said.

Meese served as the 75th United States Attorney General and led efforts to reduce crime. The White House praised Meese for helping to rebuild the Republican Party.

“He was a star. Ed was among President Reagan’s closest advisors as the administration implemented tax cuts, a dramatic defense build up,” Trump said.

President Trump also credited Meese with helping to craft policy that helped end the Cold War. But Meese’s tenure as attorney general was clouded by controversy. He testified on Capitol Hill as lawmakers investigated weapons sales used to fund anti-community Nicaraguan rebels in the Iran-Contra affair.

Meese later resigned, but continued to serve as a strong conservative voice through his work with think tanks.

Decades late, Meese was grateful to return to the White House.

“I can’t do anything other than thank and praise God for the opportunities and blessings I’ve received over the course of my life,” Meese said.

A lifetime of service recognized with the Medal of Freedom.