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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh died Wednesday at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his wife announced on his radio show.

The big picture: Limbaugh was one of the most influential conservative media personalities in the country for over three decades. The provocative radio host was a prominent Trump supporter and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union last year after his cancer diagnosis.

Between the lines Limbaugh leaves behind a unique and controversial legacy in both politics and media.

  • He was for many years one of the most listened-to radio broadcasters in the country, with up to 15 million listeners per week. At one point, he was also the highest-paid broadcaster on terrestrial radio.
  • Limbaugh had a long history of racist, sexist and homophobic remarks. His political positions were often echoed by Republican lawmakers, and later conservative web bloggers.

Limbaugh's success also helped to usher in an era of right-wing terrestrial radio dominance, made possible after the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to give equal time to points of view on both political sides of the aisle, in the late 1980s.

Driving the news: Former President Trump called into Fox News — his first TV interview since leaving office — shortly after the news of Limbaugh's death to reflect on the life of his friend and supporter.

  • Trump said he had last spoken to Limbaugh "three or four days ago," and that the radio host was "very sick" but "very courageous."
  • "From diagnosis on, it was just something that was not going to be beaten. But you wouldn't know it ... He, in theory, could have been gone four months ago. He was fighting till the very end," the former president said.

Trump went on to promote the lie that he won the 2020 election, and claimed that Limbaugh was angry and agreed with his false conspiracy theory that it was rigged.

Go deeper: Read the New York Times' obituary

Go deeper

Sen. Ron Johnson: Capitol riot "didn't seem like an armed insurrection to me"

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said in a local radio interview Monday that the Jan. 6 Capitol riots "didn't seem like an armed insurrection to me," despite the Justice Department charging at least 14 people with bringing deadly weapons onto Capitol grounds.

Why it matters: Johnson, who voted to acquit former President Trump on the impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection, appeared to downplay the severity of the Jan. 6 attack, calling it "the most pitiful armed insurrection anybody could ever possibly imagine" in one interview.

2 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.