Just days before Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, she dictated a statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera that said: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Now, not only has President Donald Trump ignored that wish to press ahead with naming a new Supreme Court nominee before the election, he’s baselessly cast doubt on whether RBG actually said it at all.
Even by his standards, it was a shockingly callous statement. It came during a Monday morning call with Fox & Friends, during which Trump confirmed he will name his SCOTUS nominee at the end of this week, perhaps just hours after Ginsburg is put to rest, and expressed his hope to have them installed by Election Day in November.
Asked about Ginsburg’s dictated dying wish, Trump told the hosts: “I don’t know if she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff or Schumer and Pelosi. I would be more inclined to the second. That came out of the wind, it sounds so beautiful, but that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe Pelosi or shifty Schiff. That came out of the wind.”
After joking that he’d like to nominate Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt as RBG’s successor, Trump said he’ll announce his nomination Friday or Saturday, depending on when the funeral takes place. He praised three rumored contenders—Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa, and Allison Jones Rushing—and said there’s a total of five in the running, one of whom is 38 years old. “She could be there for 50 years,” he remarked.
The president also confirmed that he wants his nominee to be approved before the Nov. 3 election, telling the hosts: “We won the election, we have the right to do it, and we have a lot of time, we have plenty of time. I think the vote, the final vote, frankly, should be taken before the election. We have plenty time for that... I think it should go very quickly.”
The president went on to challenge the Democrats to impeach him for a second time if they want to prevent the new conservative appointment. “I heard yesterday, if I do it, they’re going to impeach me. They’re impeaching me for doing, constitutionally, what I have to do. Then we win all elections if they do that... My numbers will go up,” Trump predicted.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that she wouldn’t rule out impeachment proceedings as a way to block the Senate from confirming Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, saying that Democrats have “arrows in our quiver” to delay the process until after the election.
Trump’s election rival Joe Biden said Sunday: “The United States Constitution allows Americans the chance to be heard... they should make it clear, they will not stand for this abuse of power.”