Donald Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to seven “distinguished individuals,” including the wife of the Republican party’s largest donor, the White House announced.
Philanthropist Miriam Adelson, the wife of billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is set to be honoured at a ceremony later this week.
The Adelsons have donated more than $112m to Republican political action committees in this past election cycle, which ended as the most expensive in US history at $5.2bn spent.
That includes $25m to the Senate Leadership Fund as Republicans are set to control the upper chamber of Congress once again.
Their donations also include $40m to the Congressional Leadership Fund, Politicoreported.
The White House is citing Ms Adelson’s citing Ms Adelson’s work to establish the Adelson Medical Research Foundation, which supports research on life-threatening illnesses, schools for Jewish students, support for Israeli military members and veterans, and Holocaust memorial organisations.
The medal is also being awarded to legendary baseball player George “Babe” Ruth for his sports achievements as well as his charitable work,Elvis Presley for the rock legend’s impact on music and his years of service in the US Army, UtahRepublican Senator Orrin Hatch for his 40 years of public service, the late conservative US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, former Dallas Cowboys player and Vietnam War veteran Roger Staubach, and former Minnesota Vikings player Allen Page who also became the first African-American to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The White House said Mr Scalia is being honoured for “insisting that the role of federal judges is to uphold the original meaning of the Constitution — never to impose their own beliefs on the country.”
The medal, awarded for the first time by Mr Trump, is given to Americans who have “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the country, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours,” according to the White House.
In October, the president awarded the Medal of Honor, given as the highest US military honour.