Coach Bill Belichick says he won't accept Presidential Medal of Freedom
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick declined to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday after last week's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In a statement, Belichick said he was flattered to be offered the medal, the country's highest civilian honor, but he said the "tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award."
Belichick, who has coached the Patriots for 21 years and has won six Super Bowls, said that "above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy."
He said "conversations" and "actions" about "social justice, equality and human rights" earlier in the season were among the most rewarding in his career.
"Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award," he said.
Earlier Monday, Trump awarded the medal to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, an ally who helped defend him against special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.
Last week, another Trump ally, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was also given the award, and on Thursday, the day after the riot, he presented the medal to three pro golfers.
The medal, established in 1963, is given to people who have "made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to the White House.
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A federal judge has ordered two leaders of the far-right Proud Boys group to be detained in jail pending trial for their involvement in the 6 January attack on the Capitol in Washington DC. Both were indicted in one of many Proud Boys conspiracy cases to stem from the investigation into the assault on the building that followed a pro-Donald Trump rally.
It’s official: The Trump campaign colluded with Russia. In an explosive development, the Biden administration confirmed that a Russian government agent with close connections to Donald Trump’s top 2016 campaign official “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and [Trump] campaign strategy.”
A data breach at a Christian crowdfunding website has revealed that serving police officers and public officials have donated money to fundraisers for accused vigilante murderers, far-right activists, and fellow officers accused of shooting black Americans. In many of these cases, the donations were attached to their official email addresses, raising questions about the use of public resources in supporting such campaigns.
A policy platform for the group, which calls itself the America First Caucus, declares that "a certain intellectual boldness is needed" in order to "follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation." The seven-page document, first obtained by Punchbowl News, is explicit in its nativist rhetoric and describes American culture as dominated by "Anglo-Saxon" and European influences.