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Former President Donald Trump spoke to Fox News on Wednesday about conservative icon Rush Limbaugh, who succumbed today to stage 4 lung cancer.
Trump said that Limbaugh told him that receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom was a big honor for him, saying as regards their "famous escalator ride" after the awards ceremony that Limbaugh told him that "He liked [his] rather controversial speech and he loved it."
Trump said that, "without ever having met him... he was with me right from the beginning," saying "he liked what I said and he agreed with what I said."
"He was a great, great man," Trump said, noting that Limbaugh's listeners were "as many as 39 million people." Trump said that "about 3 or 4 months ago I did his show," and that "the interview was like an hour," saying "it just went right through."
As regards that interview, Trump said "his questions were fascinating," and said that "the show was fascinating," "he had an insight that few people have."
Trump spoke about Limbaugh's personality and media work, saying "he was a very unique guy," and that "he had tremendous insight, he got it, he really got it."
"He was very street smart," Trump said, "very few people know, most pepple don't know that."
As regards how Trump first became aware of Limbaugh, Trump said he had heard from a friend "Rush loves you." "I was actually making speeches and running a business, I was doing both of them simultaneously," Trump said, "I would try to listen once in a while."
"He was there right from the beginning," Trump said, and that as time went on they "developed some very good friendship." Trump praised Limbaugh's gold game, saying he "hit the ball a very long way."
"Right from the beginning" of the campaign, Trump said, "he was so great... Rush was so gracious and so great... He loved this country, he loved his wife and his family and he loved his fans."
Trump noted how much Limbaugh's fans loved him, saying "there's never been anything like it... he had an incredible instinct for life."
He's a legend, he really is," Trump said, "there aren't too many legends around, but he is a legend, to those people who listened to him every day it was like a religious experience for them."
Trump said that he and Limbaugh spoke about the election during the last few months of the iconic radio host's life, and that they were on the same page about that. Limbaugh, he said, wanted to live to see the election. "He worked so hard to get through the election and he was just great, he made it."
"He was truly a man of the future, he loved this country so much," Trump said. "I got to know him because he was so gracious. He was good to me."
Trump later released a statement.