“… She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life,” he said after hearing the news for the first time. “I am actually sad to hear that. I am sad to hear that.”
Trump was on a campaign stop in Minnesota when news broke of RBG’s death. Ginsburg, a longtime Supreme Court Justice, died at age 87 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. Ginsburg was the leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing and served on the court for 27 years.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump Learned of Ginsburg’s Death From a Press Pool Following a Campaign Rally in Minnesota
President Trump on death of Justice Ginsburg: "She just died? Wow. I didn't know that…She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not. She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I'm actually sad to hear that." pic.twitter.com/6oKuL671qO
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 19, 2020
Trump made an appearance in Bemidji at 6 p.m. local time to deliver remarks at a “Great American Comeback Event,” according to the president’s official schedule. He learned of Ginsburg’s death when the event was done.
“She just died? Wow, I didn’t know that. You’re telling me now for the first time,” he said before boarding the plane, visibly reacting to the news. “She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agree or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I am actually sad to hear that. I am sad to hear that.”
He called her “a titan of the law” in a statement he shared on Twitter just after 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Statement from the President on the Passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pic.twitter.com/N2YkGVWLoF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
Today, our nation mourns the loss of a titan of the law. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg served more than 27 years as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States – notably just the second woman to be appointed to the court. She was a loving wife to her late husband, Martin, and a dedicated mother to her two children.
Renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg demonstrated that one can disagree without being disagreeable toward one’s colleagues or different points of view. Her opinions, including well-known decisions regarding the legal equality of women and the disabled, have inspired all Americans, and generations of great legal minds.
A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg battled cancer, and other very long odds, throughout her remarkable life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ginsburg family and their loved ones during this difficult time. May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world.
Trump’s comment to the press came at 9:25 p.m. Eastern time, according to The Guardian.
Trump Is Expected to Nominate a Replacement for Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court in the Coming Days
BREAKING >> McConnell: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” pic.twitter.com/BcWlantNph
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) September 19, 2020
Trump is expected to nominate a replacement for Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat in the near future, several sources told ABC News. Sources spoke of a shortlist of potential replacements that includes at least one woman, U.S. Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who “is seen as a leading contender,” ABC News reported.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement on Ginsburg’s passing, which said, in part, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
If Trump’s nominee is confirmed as a justice on the Supreme Court, that person will be the third justice Trump has added to the bench during his presidency. Trump also nominated Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court.
"To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That's what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself, but for one's community."
— CNN (@CNN) September 19, 2020
McConnell opened his statement with an expression of his condolences and remarked on Ginsburg’s life and accomplishments.
The statement said:
The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life. Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. She climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat on our nation’s highest court and into the pages of American history. Justice Ginsburg was thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service on the Supreme Court. Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends and colleagues.