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Trump speaking in Bemidji, Minnesota, on Sept. 18. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "led an amazing life," after he finished a campaign rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, and learned of her death.

What he's saying: "I’m sad to hear,” Trump told the press pool before boarding Air Force One. "She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life."

Trump added in a statement: "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. She was a loving wife to her late husband, Martin, and a dedicated mother to her two children.

  • "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 of a great and magnificent blessing to the world."

Why it matters: Republican sources tell Axios that Trump will move within days to nominate his third justice, adding that the Republican base will revolt on Election Day if he does not.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Friday that Trump’s nominee "will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."

Go deeper

Updated Dec 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump turns on everyone

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump, in his final days, is turning bitterly on virtually every person around him, griping about anyone who refuses to indulge conspiracy theories or hopeless bids to overturn the election, several top officials tell Axios.

The latest: Targets of his outrage include Vice President Pence, chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Secretary of State Pompeo and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump endorses primary challenge against Senate GOP whip John Thune

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Cal/POOLl via Getty

President Trump backed a 2022 challenge to Senate whip John Thune (R-S.D.) on Tuesday, tweeting that his political career will be "over" and calling Thune a "RINO" — Republican in name only.

Why it matters: As the end of his term nears, the president has turned on virtually everyone around him. Tuesday’s tweet reflects his last bid for power as he attempts to cling to his presidency.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.