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Tears aplenty in the White House as Obama honours Ellen, Bruce Springsteen and others

They all received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA presented his nation’s highest civilian honour to 21 groundbreaking actors, musicians, athletes and others at the White House today.

“These are folks who have helped make me who I am,” Obama said from the famous east room of the White House East Room.

Obama Medal of Freedom Robert De Niro receives his medal. Source: Manuel Balce Ceneta

Basketball great Michael Jordan was seen to shed a tear as he was presented with his medal alongside former opponent Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Actors Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford and Cicely Tyson received the medal and Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross were recognised for their music.

Other honorees included philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, comedian Ellen DeGeneres and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.

Obama said the people receiving the medal helped push America forward and inspired millions around the world.

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A number of Obama’s selections have been vocal opponents of Donald Trump and it’s been speculated that the two-term president was making point with his choices.

(Click here to watch Obama’s speech)

- With reporting by the Associated Press

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Rónán Duffy

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