A Russian billionaire whose relationship to Donald Trump stretches back years, and who once bragged that he is responsible for getting Trump elected, now has some direct advice for the president -- it's "time to remove" Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Artem Klyushin, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin, took to Twitter on Friday to make what some have interpreted as a thinly veiled threat against Ginsburg.
"The time has come to bring Ruth Ginsburg out of the Supreme Court judges," he wrote in a tweet translated from Russian. "[Ginsburg], the star of liberal jurisprudence, has been in the Supreme Court for 25 years. It's time for her to rest."
Klyushin then tagged Trump directly in the tweet. The message drew viral attention, with many seeing it as a direct order to Trump and others accusing Klyushin of threatening Ginsburg.
Artem Klyushin has ties to Donald Trump dating back several years. In 2013, the Russian shared a picture of himself meeting with Trump and team of other Putin-connected businessmen during Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant being held there. Klyushin wrote that he was discussing a "new project" with Trump, which was reported to be the planned Trump Tower in Moscow that never came to fruition.
Trump had long claimed that negotiations for the project ended before his presidential campaign, but Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, later admitted that he and Trump had lied and that planning for the project continued throughout the campaign.
Donald Trump has continually denied any connections to Russia and said that allegations that his campaign colluded with Russia are a politically motivated witch hunt.But Klyushin has raised eyebrows for some past statements about Trump's election. The billionaire has often bragged about his close connections to Donald Trump and Russia's help in electing him, even tweeting in 2017, "Without my intervention, Trump would not have won."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was recovering this week from surgery to remove two cancerous nodules on her lungs. As CNN reported, the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice missed oral arguments this week as she was recovering and has not been on the bench since she underwent surgery last month, but has been reading briefs at home. She also participated by proxy as justices met to discuss pending petitions, the report noted.
Doctors said Ginsburg had no further traces of cancer after her surgery, and she is expected to make a full recovery.