Fox News host Tucker Carlson ripped the purported dying wish of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked that her seat be filled by the winner of November’s presidential election. On Monday night, Carlson said he didn’t believe it, but “if it were true, it would be pathetic because life is bigger than politics, even this year.”
Days before her death on Friday at the age of 87, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg said, per NPR.
But Carlson said he didn’t believe it.
“We don’t really know, actually, what Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final words were,” Carlson said. “Did she really leave this world fretting about a presidential election? We don’t believe that for a second.”
Carlson called those words “so small” and said Ginsburg didn’t say them but rather “was thinking at the end about her family and where she might be going next.”
Media Matters posted the comments online:
Carlson was parroting a conspiracy theory initiated earlier in the day on his cable network by President Donald Trump.
“I don’t know that she said that. Or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi?” Trump said on Fox News Monday morning.
“Mr. President, this is low. Even for you,” Schiff fired back on Twitter.
Within hours, other right-wing figures, including Carlson, repeated Trump’s talking point.
Ginsburg’s last wish would be in keeping with a precedent set in 2016 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who blocked then-President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because it was eight months before the election. In this case, however, McConnell quickly announced that he would move to fill the seat with Trump’s nominee, who the president said he will announce Friday or Saturday.
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