U.S. President Donald Trump made an appearance at the Supreme Court Building, where Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s body is lying in repose for a second day — and it was perhaps not what he expected. While he may have been making a courtesy appearance intended to pay his respects to the recently deceased justice, he was not greeted warmly by the crowd. Instead, he was met with boos, jeers, and chanting, which is perhaps much different than the hoards of fawning admirers he’s used to facing at his rallies.
According to videos and reports of the event, crowd can be heard chanting “vote him out” as the president stands stoically blinking behind a black mask. But the literal boo-ing of Trump is an unsurprising reaction to the president's recent public statements: On Wednesday, Trump said he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he were to lose the election (“we’ll have to see what happens,” he said Wednesday) and just two days earlier he said he planned to replace Ginsburg on the court before she had even been buried.
In addition to “vote him out,” the crowd also heckled Trump with “respect her wish”— a reference to the fact that Ginsburg reportedly said that she hopes her seat is not filled before the November 3rd election. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg told her granddaughter shortly before her death.
But the president said he planned to announce his nomination by week’s end and has dismissed reports of her dying wish as being made up by Democrats in an attempt to prevent him from nominating a replacement justice.
“I don’t know that she said that, or if that was written out by Adam Schiff, and Schumer and Pelosi,” Trump said on Fox and Friends earlier this week. “That came out of the wind. It sounds so beautiful, but that sounds like a Schumer deal, or maybe Pelosi or Shifty Schiff,” he said, using an antisemitic nickname for Rep. Adam Schiff. Vice President Joe Biden, speaking in Philadelphia earlier this week, said that rushing a decision on a replacement through before the election would be an “abuse of power.”
But naturally, at a press briefing Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized the crowd for heckling the president. “The chants were appalling but certainly to be expected when you’re in the heart of the swamp,” McEnany said. “Everyone has a First Amendment in this country, but I thought it was an appalling and disrespectful thing to do as the president honored Justice Ginsburg.”
No word on whether Trump's blatant attempts to dishonour the dying wishes of a Supreme Court justice and cast doubt on her family's story is considered appalling or disrespectful, however.