No, Justice Ginsburg Hasn't Said She's Resigning Because Trump Won
Ginsburg hasn't said she's leaving the Supreme Court because of Trump.
— -- It's been making the rounds on Facebook, but it's not true: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has not said she's stepping down now because Donald Trump won the election.
The story appeared on a website called "Success Street" on Dec. 22 -- trumpeting the headline "Breaking News: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is RESIGNING From The Post of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court!!!!"
And while the first quote in the story matches an accurate quote in a story from The Associated Press on July 8, the other quotes in the story -- including a quote that reads "I will resign my position as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States if that happens" -- are completely false.
ABC News reached out to Success Street via email and its Facebook page looking for answers. They didn't respond. But here's what we know about what Ginsburg actually did say about Donald Trump and the election -- and where this fake news story originated.
What Ginsburg Actually Said
Justice Ginsburg did a series of interviews before the Republican and Democratic conventions last summer during which she bashed Trump as a "faker" and said she couldn't imagine the country with the real estate mogul in the White House.
"I don't want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs," she told the AP on July 8. This quote appears at the top of the fake news story.
Later that week, she told The New York Times: “I can’t imagine what this place would be -- I can’t imagine what the country would be -- with Donald Trump as our president." Another actual quote: “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be -- I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
And the next day, she called him a "faker" to CNN. "He is a faker," she said. "He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. 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."
On Twitter later that day, Trump called on her to resign.
She came under fire for her Trump comments and later apologized, saying in a statement that they were "ill-advised" and "I regret making them."
In fact, Ginsburg told NPR in October that she doesn't plan to retire anytime soon. "I will retire when it's time," Ginsburg said. "And, when is it time? When I can't do the job full-steam."
The Supreme Court's public information office declined to comment for this story.
The Origins of This Fake News Story
The text of this fake news story seems to have appeared for the first time on July 8 -- which is why the fake news story's line about how "the Supreme Court is in recess for the summer" seems so out of place.
On July 8, the same day as the first AP story was published, the fake news article appeared on a website called "TheRightists.com." The Facebook "like" counter on the bottom of the page shows more than 81,000 likes. Neither the organization's Facebook page nor an email account associated with the page replied to requests for comment from ABC News.
The next day, the fake story was billed as a "PRNTLY" exclusive by Connor Balough on its site. The Washington Post covered "Prntly" in depth in April. When I asked Alexander Portelli, the "CEO of Prntly," whether he was the author of the story via Facebook, he asked, "Does it look like I have time to write stories?" and blocked me.
The fake story currently making the rounds on Facebook has a new headline -- "Breaking News: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is RESIGNING From The Post of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court!!!!" -- but contains the exact same text, adding one new sentence at the top that falsely claims "she will be resigning."
ABC News has launched "The Real News About Fake News" powered by Facebook data in which users report questionable stories and misinformation circulating on the platform. The stories will undergo rigorous reporting to determine if the claims made are false, exaggerated or out of context. Stories that editorial partners have also debunked will then appear flagged in your News Feed.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of the story included misspellings of the name of Justice Ginsburg.
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