WASHINGTON: President Trump on Thursday claimed he could “hardly hear” loud chants and boos from protesters outside the Supreme Court when he arrived to pay respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“That was just a political chant. We could hardly hear it from where we were,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“Somebody said there was some chanting. But they were right next to the media,” he continued. “But we really could hardly hear too much. We heard a sound but it wasn’t too strong.”
Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the Supreme Court on Thursday morning to view Ginsburg’s casket, which is resting atop the court steps.
As the two stood silently before the casket, groups of people around the court loudly booed and shouted “vote him out” and “honor her wish” — the latter a reference to Ginsburg reportedly telling her granddaughter that her “most fervent wish” was for the next president to fill her vacancy on the high court.
The chants and heckling could be audibly heard by cameras outside the court and by press that traveled with the president and remained several yards away from him while he viewed the casket.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the chants “appalling and disrespectful.”
Trump’s encounter with the protesters marked a rare instance where he has come into contact with a group that opposes him. He was vociferously booed during an appearance at last year’s World Series and got a mixed reception during a trip to New York City for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event.
The president has otherwise surrounded himself with supporters by bringing them to the White House or attending political rallies.