Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs Received Medals from Trump During Impeachment Proceedings

Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs were awarded the National Medal of the Arts on Wednesday afternoon, around the same time that the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.

Trump presented the country stars with the nation's highest award for the arts at a closed press ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, The White House press office confirmed Thursday.

There was no announcement made about the ceremony ahead of time and both Keith and Skaggs have yet to speak publicly about the event.  

The news was first reported on by Bloomberg.

A total of 10 Republican lawmakers joined their Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, voting in favor of charging Trump, 74, with "incitement of insurrection." 

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Keith, who previously shared that he is an Independent, played at Trump's presidential inauguration in 2017.

"I don't apologize for performing for our country or military," the singer, 59, said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly at the time. "I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO."

Meanwhile, Skaggs has been vocal in his support of Trump in the past. "I believe Donald Trump is the right person in the right place, and that it's prophetic," the Country Music Hall of Famer, 66, said in 2016, according to Billboard.

In 2019, Trump previously awarded the National Medal of the Arts to singer Alison Krauss, actor Jon Voight — an outspoken supporter — as well as Sharon Percy Rockefeller and the Musicians of the United States Military.

Earlier this week, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick announced that he would not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom following the deadly U.S. Capitol riot.

"Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients," Belichick, 68, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award."

"Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy," he continued. "I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team." 

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