Trump presented the highest civilian honor to the former official during a ceremony in the Oval Office, praising him for delivering "monumental change for the American people" during the Reagan administration.
"Ed, you are a loyal fighter for freedom, a champion of law and order, mentor to young Americans and a faithful defender of our Republic," Trump said. "You are an inspiration to liberty-loving citizens everywhere. You're just an inspiration, period."
Meese, 87, issued a statement through the Heritage Foundation, where he is a fellow emeritus, thanking Trump for the award.
"I am greatly honored to receive such recognition from President Trump. For many years, I had the privilege of serving the country under President Ronald Reagan. During that time and through my life and career, my aim has been to remain committed to the Constitution, the rule of law and the conservative American values that have made America 'the shining city upon a hill,'" he said.
Meese served as the 75th U.S. attorney general and presidential counsel under Reagan after working with him dating back to the days of the former actor's years as California governor.
He now contributes to conservative policy councils and political think tanks.