Dolly Parton had to decline when Trump offered presidential medal

Washington DC – Dolly Parton was twice offered the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the Trump administration, but turned it down, she revealed on Monday.

Dolly Parton (75) has been offered a Presidential Medal of Freedom on several occasions.
Dolly Parton (75) has been offered a Presidential Medal of Freedom on several occasions.  © IMAGO / MediaPunch

"I couldn't accept it because my husband was ill," she told Today in an interview set to air on Tuesday. "And then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the Covid."

Parton has contributed to several causes, including donating $1 million to coronavirus vaccine development as well as sponsoring a well-known literacy program for children.

It was late November when it emerged that the storied singer didn’t already have a medal, when talk show host Stephen Colbert asked former President Barack Obama why he hadn’t given her one.

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Obama was jokingly chagrined, labeling it as an oversight and saying he would put in a word to then President-elect Joe Biden, who was inaugurated on January 20.

Parton said Biden’s office has indeed reached out to her, but that now she’s hesitant.

"Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure," said the star, who turned 75 on January 19.

Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo

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