President Trump on Thursday visited the casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside the Supreme Court, where she has been lying in repose this week. And the president was met with chants of “vote him out” from supporters of the iconic liberal justice.
Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, arrived at the viewing around 10 a.m. ET. Both were wearing masks, a precaution recommended by health officials during the coronavirus pandemic but often eschewed by the president.
As Trump paused behind Ginsburg’s casket, a crowd about a block away from the court erupted, booing the president before joining in the derisive chants.
The president turned and walked away after spending about a minute at the casket as the crowd continued to chant “vote him out” and “honor her wish.” It’s unclear whether he could hear them.
At a White House briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked about the crowd’s chants.
“I think the chants were appalling,” she said, “but certainly to be expected when you’re in the heart of the swamp.”
McEnany added: “I thought it was an appalling and disrespectful thing to do.”
Ginsburg died Friday of complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 87. Her death immediately set off a heated battle over the vacancy it left on the nation’s highest court less than two months before the presidential election.
Trump on Monday defended the Republican plan to bring his pick to replace Ginsburg to a vote in an election year, despite the fact that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to do the same with Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee, in 2016.
“When you have the Senate, when you have the votes, you can sort of do what you want as long as you have it,” Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends.”
Trump also claimed without evidence that Ginsburg’s “most fervent” dying wish — that “I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” as she dictated to her granddaughter — was manufactured by congressional Democrats.
“I don’t know that she said that,” Trump said. “Or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi? I would be more inclined to the second, OK?”