President Trump had just finished with a rally in Minnesota and was heading to Air Force One when he was confronted by a group of reporters who broke the news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away.
Trump approached the group, put politics aside, and spent a moment honoring her life and legacy.
“She just died? Wow, I didn’t know that,” he said. “You’re telling me that for the first time.”
He then took a moment to collect himself before continuing: “She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life.”
“I’m actually sad to hear that. I’m sad to hear that,” he echoed.
Watch the moment below:
The White House released a full statement later that evening, calling Ginsburg “a titan of the law.”
“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,” the statement said, also calling her “a loving wife to her late husband, Martin, and a dedicated mother to her two children.”
The White House continued: “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,” it added.
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
In a statement on Twitter, First Lady Melania Trump called Ginsburg’s passing “an immense loss.”
“Her tenacity & strength were matched by her intellect & compassion, & her spirit will live on in all she has inspired. My prayers are with her family & all who loved her,” she added.
Justice's Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing is a immense loss. Her tenacity & strength were matched by her intellect & compassion, & her spirit will live on in all she has inspired. My prayers are with her family & all who loved her. #RIPRBG
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 19, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will be responsible for orchestrating the confirmation process for replacing Ginsburg, also issued a statement:
The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/NOwYLhDxIk
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 19, 2020