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President Donald Trump reacted to the news of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing after speaking at a rally in Bemidji, Minnesota.
News of Ginsburg’s passing broke as the president was delivering a campaign speech that repeatedly stressed the importance of re-electing him so that he could nominate conservative justices to the Supreme Court, leading many liberal media figures to scold the president for remarks they said were in bad taste. However, it appears that President Trump was not notified by his staff about the news and that Trump learned of it for the first time when the media asked him for comment.
In response to a question from a reporter, a visibly shaken Trump responded, “She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that. I just… you’re telling me now for the first time.”
Trump took a moment to compose himself and went on, “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. I am sad to hear that. Thank you very much.”
Trump then turned and walked away from reporters. According to several reporters present in the pool, reporters asked Trump as he walked away whether he plans to attempt to nominate a replacement justice before the election, but Trump did not respond to or acknowledge those questions.
During Trump’s speech, while he was unaware that Ginsburg had died, Trump touted Republican Senator Ted Cruz as a potential Supreme Court nominee in the future. “I’m putting Ted Cruz as one of the people for the Supreme Court,” Trump said. “Ted’s the only man I know who could get 100 votes from the Senate. Every single senator is going to vote for him. He’s a great guy, a brilliant guy.”