Trump posts edited Willy Wonka video to mark Clarence Thomas’ release from hospital

Justice Thomas’ face is superimposed over actor Gene Wilder’s in clip from 1971 movie

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 29 March 2022 15:44 BST
Related Video: SCOTUS wife Virginia Thomas may be asked to testify about January 6 attack on Capitol Hill

Donald Trump marked Clarence Thomas’ release from hospital by having his spokesperson tweet out an edited clip from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The former president, who is still banned from Twitter, released a short statement simply saying: “Glad to see Clarence Thomas is healthy and doing well.”

Supreme Court Justice Thomas had been hospitalised for nearly a week from 18 March after experiencing flu-like symptoms and had to be treated with intravenous antibiotics.

The court clarified that Mr Thomas did not have Covid-19 and has been vaccinated and received a booster shot.

To mark the occasion, the former president’s statement was accompanied by a retweet of a short video from user “drefanzor” in which the justice’s face replaced that of actor Gene Wilder in the 1971 adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In the posted scene, an apparently frail Willy Wonka appears at the gates to the chocolate factory walking with a cane, before falling forward into a somersault and springing to his feet before the crowd of children waiting to visit who applaud.

Mr Thomas has participated remotely in court arguments via telephone on Monday and asked several questions relating to a federal law that applies to railroad workers.

He missed arguments at the high court on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week while he was hospitalised.

Chief Justice John Roberts said Justice Thomas would participate in the cases argued on those days using briefs the parties filed and the transcript of the arguments.

Mr Thomas has emerged into a political storm regarding the release of text messages sent by his wife Ginni Thomas to former President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows regarding wild allegations of election fraud in 2020.

A longtime conservative activist, Ms Thomas’ actions have led to calls for her husband to recuse himself from cases relating to the 2020 and 2024 elections and the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.

There have also been calls for him to resign or be impeached from the court.

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