President Donald Trump heads to Capitol Hill Wednesday as former Sen. Bob Dole is awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.
Trump is scheduled to attend the ceremony honoring the 94-year-old former Republican nominee, which comes four months after Trump signed into law the bill awarding Dole the medal in recognition of his service to the United States “as a soldier, legislator and statesman.”
Dole was the only former Republican nominee to support Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 election. The Trump campaign also marked the occasion with a press release remarking on the “special bond” the two men formed. Dole also attended Trump’s inauguration.
“We have high regard for Senator Dole and the sacrifices he has made for our nation. President Trump respects a leader who will always put America first, even in the face of opposition from powerful political forces and conventional wisdom,” Michael Glassner, the Trump campaign’s executive director, said in a statement
Trump’s visit to Capitol Hill comes as his chief of staff John Kelly is making the rounds, meeting with lawmakers in hopes of reaching a bipartisan immigration agreement. Trump is not scheduled to have any additional meetings while at the Capitol.
Dole is being honored for his decades of service to the country. After serving in the US Army during World War II, Dole served in the Kansas House of Representatives, then the US House of Representatives, before eventually getting elected as a US senator from Kansas.
Dole climbed the ranks of the Republican Party becoming its chairman and eventually the Senate Republican leader. He was nominated as the GOP presidential nominee in 1996, but was defeated by President Bill Clinton in that year’s election.