The Two Country Stars Trump Honored Minutes After His Impeachment

While the U.S. House of Representatives was voting on impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time, he was attending to other matters. Following the violent and deadly insurrection on the Capitol on January 6th, the House voted to bring articles of impeachment against the 45th President of the United States. Rolling Stone reports that while the vote on whether or not to impeach was underway, he was presenting the National Medal of the Arts to two country singers.

Of course, both the stars chosen for the honor are supporters of the President. The National Medal of Arts recipients honored at the White House on Wednesday were Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs.

A White House press release on the medal recipients explains why the two men were chosen. Keith was chosen "for making extraordinary contributions to American music," according to the White House. Skaggs was chosen "for his contributions to the American music industry."

Toby Keith's patriotic tunes were a fit for the Trump campaign

While Keith doesn't associate himself with the Republican party, he has shown support for Trump during his time in office. "I was a Democrat my whole life. They kind of disowned me when I started supporting the troops, then I went and registered Independent," Keith told The Chicago Tribune of his political history in 2016. "I've never been a registered Republican. It just keeps people off balance. They don't know what to think."

Keith did perform at both an RNC event and at the "Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration and Concert" inauguration event (per Billboard). He drew some criticism for the inauguration performance and now, he's drawing criticism for accepting the National Medal of the Arts. 

"So Bill Belichick has more honor than Toby Keith," one Twitter user observed. The reference to the New England Patriots' head coach, also believed to be a supporter of the president, turning down his Presidential Medal of Freedom (per CNN) was biting.

Ricky Skaggs is a lifelong Republican who had faith in Trump's capabilities

Skaggs has also received criticism for accepting the award from Trump. "You may not be ashamed to accept that medal from a traitor to democracy, but I am ashamed I ever looked up to you," a former fan tweeted at him after the news broke. 

The legendary bluegrass mandolin player explained his support of Trump in a 2016 interview with Gospel Herald. A lifelong Republican, he truly believed the former reality host was the man for the job. "I love his [Trump's] enthusiasm and his fighting spirit. He's not going to let anyone bulldoze over him because he's a bulldozer himself. Mr. Trump is someone who tears down and rebuilds," said the musician. "I believe Donald Trump is the right person in the right place, and that it's prophetic."

Representatives for both Keith and Skaggs have declined to comment on why they accepted the medals, or the timing of the ceremony in relation to impeachment.