Mid-speech, the president awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to an emotional Rush Limbaugh, 69, who revealed an advanced lung cancer diagnosis to his listeners on Monday. First lady Melania Trump, seated next to the conservative radio host, presented the medal to Limbaugh, tying it around his neck.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening came when Trump announced that Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams -- currently on his fourth deployment to the Middle East -- was actually in the House chamber, where his wife, Amy Williams of Fort Bragg, N.C., was in attendance as one of the president's guests, along with their two children.Townsend Williams walked down the stairs in the gallery to thunderous applause in a military homecoming surprise that neither is likely to forget.
Speaker Pelosi was also seen ripping up her copy of the speech just seconds after it was concluded. From Fox News:
Appearing on "Fox & Friends," Jody Jones -- a Farmersville, Calif., resident -- said that in Pelosi's decision to rip up her copy of the president's address, she effectively ripped the hearts of every guest in attendance out of their chests.
"It felt like she ripped our hearts out," he said.
"Everybody there. All of the guests. We couldn't believe it."
Jones' eldest brother, Rocky Jones, was shot and killed at a Tulare County gas station in 2018. He was 51.
The Trump administration says California’s sanctuary state policy allowed the killer -- with a long criminal history and previous deportation orders -- to be released from jail.