Trump reportedly mocked Ruth Bader Ginsburg's ailing health: 'How much longer you think she has?'
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Screenshot)

Donald Trump mocked Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's ailing health before her 2020 death opened up a last-minute vacancy.

The former president made light of her cancer treatment before the 87-year-old justice's death injected political turmoil into the presidential election, according to excerpts from a forthcoming book from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman published by CNN.

"Trump would clasp his hands and look skyward, Haberman writes. 'Please God. Please watch over her. Every life is precious,' Trump said, before almost winking and looking at his aides. 'How’s she doing?'"

Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, 2020, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rushed the confirmation of a third Trump appointee, Amy Coney Barrett, as early votes were being cast in many states -- and the former president eagerly anticipated her demise in private White House conversations.

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"When another visitor came to the Oval Office, Trump asked, 'She gonna make it? How much longer you think she has?'" Haberman wrote.

The late judge was popularly known as "RBG" when she died in September 2020 at the age of 87.

She first rose to prominence in the 1970s as a lawyer, winning several court battles that brought down a host of laws that discriminated against women.

In 1993, nominated by Bill Clinton, she became only the second woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court, along with Sandra Day O'Connor.

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She defended other progressive causes, including the rights of sexual minorities and immigrants.

Through her work, she became an icon over the years, even among younger generations, who nicknamed her "The Notorious RBG" in reference to the murdered rapper "The Notorious B.I.G."

"RBG" also became known for her dress code consisting of fine-knit gloves, pearl necklace and muslin collars that are now so recognizable that they have become Halloween staples for kids.

With additional reporting by AFP