March 24, 2020

President Trump said Tuesday he's working well with governors across the country as both the federal government and the states battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump singled out his working relationship with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), with whom he's clashed in the past over issues like homelessness. And everyone else, it seems, remains in communication with each other and the White House as the country develops some semblance of a coordinated plan. But, there's a catch.

The president said governors can't simply tell him they want assistance and expect the administration to comply in the blink of an eye. Instead, he suggested governors should show some appreciation first.

He pointed to New York in this instance. The state with the country's highest number of COVID-19 cases is trying to get more respirators, but Trump says Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) can't blame the White House because he had a chance to order the supplies two years ago. Tim O'Donnell

10:45 a.m.

That didn't take long.

President Trump on Saturday urged Senate Republicans to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice, who he will nominate, to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday night at 87. Trump told GOP lawmakers "we have this obligation, without delay."

Ginsburg's death has already sparked a debate over the vacant seat. In 2016, Senate Republicans blocked then-President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, because it was an election year. So is 2020, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has argued it's a different situation because the Senate majority and president are from the same party and, therefore, he is aiming to fast-track a nomination. Democrats — and some Republicans — have said a confirmation hearing should wait until at least after the November election, if not January's inauguration.

Days before she died, Ginsburg reportedly said her "most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed." With Trump and McConnell on the same page about confirming her replacement as soon as possible, it appears whether her wish is granted will depend on how individual Republican senators approach the situation.

10:21 a.m.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Saturday posted a photo to his Instagram account in which he is walking down a flight of stairs as part of his recovery after he was poisoned last month.

In the photo's caption, Navalny, one of Russia's most prominent Kremlin critics, wrote that he has a "clear path" to recovery, but suggested it will be a long one. He was removed from a ventilator five days ago and said he is still having trouble climbing stairs, pouring water, and using his phone. Still, he has apparently made significant progress since, he said, he was previously considered only "technically alive."

Navalny fell ill in August while in Siberia and was airlifted to a hospital in Berlin while in a coma. Multiple labs in Europe have confirmed he was poisoned by a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok. His supporters suspect Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind the assassination attempt, but Moscow has denied any involvement and has accused Navalny's aides of removing evidence, jeopardizing the official inquiry into the poisoning. Read more at Deutsche Welle and The Guardian. Tim O'Donnell

8:36 a.m.

There has been no shortage of current and former American politicians on both sides of the aisle expressing their admiration for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, including the last two Democratic presidents.

In a statement, former President Barack Obama called Ginsburg a "warrior for gender equality" who "helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn't about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn't only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us." Obama also weighed in on the possibility of the Republican-led Senate fast-tracking the confirmation of Ginsburg's replacement before the election, suggesting that Ginsburg herself would want her legacy to be honored by the Senate sticking to the precedent it set in 2016 when the GOP blocked Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland because it was an election year. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said 2020 is different because the president and Senate majority are of the same party.)

Former President Bill Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the high court in 1993, also shared his thoughts on her life and legacy, describing her "as one of the most extraordinary justices" ever to serve on the bench. Tim O'Donnell

8:09 a.m.

Both presidential candidates paid tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday night from metastatic pancreatic cancer complications.

President Trump, who found out about Ginsburg's passing in real time after finishing a rally speech in Minnesota, called her "an amazing woman who led an amazing life," and later, in a formal statement, referred to the justice as a "titan of the law" who was "renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court."

Trump's Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, echoed those sentiments, describing Ginsburg as "an American hero, a giant of legal doctrine, and a relentless voice in the pursuit of that highest American ideal: Equal Justice Under Law." Biden's respect for Ginsburg has been on record for some time. Back in 1993, during her Senate confirmation hearing, then-Sen. Biden (D-Del.) said Ginsburg "came before the committee with her place already secured in history" for arguing "a series of landmark cases that changed the way our laws could distinguish legally between women and men, and you significantly narrowed the circumstances under which they could."

In addition to praising Ginsburg on Friday, Biden addressed the unavoidable question of the possibility a Republican-led Senate would try to confirm a Trump-selected replacement on the Supreme Court. The Democratic nominee made it clear the decision should not come until at least after the election. "The voters should pick a president, and the president should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg," he said. Tim O'Donnell

September 18, 2020

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says she won't vote on a Supreme Court nomination until after the election. Or at least that's what she said in an interview with Alaska Public Media only hours before the news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing was reported late Friday.

"I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election," she reportedly said, referencing the 2016 case of Merrick Garland, when Republicans in the Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), blocked President Obama's nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after he died that February. "That was too close to an election, and the people needed to decide."

McConnell, for his part, has already said he has no problem moving forward right away. "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," he said in a statement Friday night. With that stance, tremendous pressure will fall on Murkowski and other moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah) to stick to Murkowski's stated position.

Republicans could attempt to have it both ways and wait for the lame duck session after the election. Of course, confirming a Trump nominee at that point could be even more fraught if Joe Biden wins the presidency or if Democrats win the Senate. Bryan Maygers

September 18, 2020

After news of the passing of legendary Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wasted no time making it clear where he stood on the timeline to confirm a successor. "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," he said in a statement.

That position seemingly contradicts the stance McConnell took in February 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died, nearly nine months prior to that year's presidential election. That time around, the Republican leader blocked President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, saying "the American people should have a say in the court's direction." President Trump won in November, and Neil Gorsuch was eventually confirmed to replace Scalia more than a year after he died.

In his Friday statement, McConnell drew a distinction between this year and 2016, saying this time is different because the president and the Senate majority are of the same party. He did not specify, however, whether the Senate vote on a Trump nominee would come prior to Election Day or during a potential lame duck session. Bryan Maygers

September 18, 2020

When news broke that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died Friday after battling pancreatic cancer, tributes from politicians and Americans all over the country came pouring in within minutes.

One voice conspicuously missing? President Trump's.

Trump was speaking at a rally in Minnesota when the Supreme Court announced Ginsburg's death. And while he certainly can't be blamed for failing to check Twitter while giving one of his signature rambling speeches, as the hour wore on, it became increasingly strange that the president was seemingly one of the few top lawmakers who hadn't heard the major update.

As NBC News' Garrett Haake put it, the "political earth has shifted under his feet" during the course of his rally, and he was seemingly without a clue.

Ginsburg's death constitutes "political earth," of course, because with a vacancy on the Supreme Court, Trump and the Republican-majority Senate are now likely to push forward with a conservative nominee to replace her before the November presidential election. With a new Trump-picked justice, the court's conservative majority would be further solidified for years to come.

Trump told the crowd about his belief that Sean Hannity should win a Pulitzer Prize, called Joe Biden "Sleepy Joe," and discussed the latest poll numbers, all while pundits and Americans everywhere were meanwhile considering the sudden change to the 2020 race. When he started ruminating on the power of the president to influence decades of judicial balance on the Supreme Court, attendees began yelling "Ginsburg is dead," video shows.

At last, after Trump exited the stage nearly two hours after the court's announcement, reporters seemingly informed Trump of Ginsburg's passing. "She just died? Wow. I didn't know that," he responded. He said he was "sad to hear" the news and praised her as an "amazing woman." Summer Meza

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