- President Donald Trump’s aides refrained from informing him about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death while he was onstage during a rally on Friday night because they were afraid the crowd would cheer if he announced it, according to the New York Times.
- At subsequent rallies, Trump’s supporters have chanted: “Fill that seat!”
- Trump intends to fill Ginsburg’s seat before the election, and has the necessary support from Republicans in the Senate to move forward.
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President Donald Trump had barely taken the stage during a rally in Minnesota on Friday night when the news broke that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died at the age of 87.
Trump’s aides refrained from telling him about the liberal Supreme Court justice’s death over fears that if he announced Ginsburg had died onstage it would lead his supporters to cheer, the New York Times reported.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Since the rally, Trump has baselessly suggested that Ginsburg’s dying wish that her seat be filled after the election was invented by Democratic leaders in Congress.
Ginsburg reportedly dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Trump on Monday cast doubt on whether Ginsburg ever said this.
“I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi? I would be more inclined to the second,” Trump said during a phone interview with “Fox & Friends.”
“That came out of the wind, it sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff,” he said, adding, “Maybe she did and maybe she didn’t.”
At Trump rallies over the past few days, the president’s supporters have chanted: “Fill that seat!”
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 19, 2020
Ginsburg’s death sent shockwaves through the nation and pushed the Supreme Court to the forefront of discussions surrounding the 2020 election.
Senate Republicans are overwhelmingly supporting Trump’s move to fill her seat prior to the election, despite the fact many of the same lawmakers opposed Merrick Garland’s nomination by former President Barack Obama in 2016 because it was an election year. Republicans refused to even hold a confirmation hearing for Garland, though he was nominated 237 days before Election Day.
Ginsburg died 46 days before the election in 2020, and Republicans are rushing to fill her seat as Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden in national polls.
Trump is set to announce his Supreme Court nominee to fill Ginsburg’s vacant seat on Saturday.