Former Attorney General Janet Reno said "Donald Trump will never be president in my lifetime."
Janet Reno, who served in the cabinet of President Bill Clinton as the nation’s first female Attorney General of the U.S., died at the age of 78 on 7 November 2016, one day before GOP nominee Donald Trump was elected president.
Even before Trump was announced the winner of the general election, quotes began circulating via social media attributing a fatal prescience to Ms. Reno. Here, for example, is a tweet posted at 11:46 a.m. on election day (8 November):
Janet Reno: “#Trump will be President OVER MY DEAD BODY”
— David Knight (@libertytarian) November 8, 2016
As it turns out, in fact, some people were way ahead of the game and tweeting variants of the quote on the same day Reno died (7 November):
“Hillary Clinton will be president over my dead body” – Janet Reno — Mike Keegan (@MikeCJKeegs) November 7, 2016
We’re screwed if Janet Reno said “Donald Trump will be President over my dead body!” — Stephanie O’Shea (@stephyska) November 7, 2016
As election day wore on, the rumor took off on other social media, as well, including Facebook:
We can safely assume that Reno, a lifelong Democrat, did not support Donald Trump for president, but there’s no evidence she ever expressed the sentiment that he would not be elected during her lifetime. Like similar claims that conservative gadfly Phyllis Schlafly, who died in September 2016, said “There will be a woman president over my dead body,” it’s just an attempt at ironic humor at the expense of the recently deceased.