Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday she regrets her "ill-advised" public criticism of Donald Trump.
“On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them," Ginsburg said in a statement issued by the court. "Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”
Ginsburg first disparaged the candidacy of the presumptive Republican nominee in interviews with The AP and The New York Times, saying she was frightened of what the country, and the Supreme Court in particular, would become if he were elected.
Ginsburg had said that she felt Trump was unqualified for the position. She said in an interview with The Associated Press last week that she didn't want to think about the possibility that Trump would be president and predicted that Democrat Hillary Clinton would win.
"I can't imagine what this place would be — I can't imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president," Ginsburg told The New York Times. "For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don't even want to contemplate that."
If he wins, "everything is up for grabs," she said.
On Tuesday, she continued her assessment of the candidate, telling CNN he was "a faker."
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"He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment," Ginsburg said in an interview with CNN’s Joan Biskupic. "He really has an ego. ... How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that."
Trump retorted that her comments were not fitting for a Supreme Court justice.
"I think it's highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly," Trump told The Times. "I think it's a disgrace to the court and I think she should apologize to the court. I couldn't believe it when I saw it."
Her comments only energized his base, he said.
"And I would hope that she would get off the court as soon as possible," he said.
He also tweeted, "Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot — resign!"
At 83, Ginsburg is the oldest justice.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday called her remarks "totally inappropriate."
Justices should refrain from commenting on elections, McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, told The AP.
"It raises a level of skepticism that the American people have from time to time about just how objective the Supreme Court is, whether they're over there to call the balls and strikes, or weigh in on one side or another," he said.