Supreme Court justice nominee coming July 9, Trump says

Don’t rely on what press said’ Rosenstein trolls Republican lawmaker amid Clinton email dispute

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en route from Washington to his private golf club in New Jersey, Trump said he may interview two contenders for the nomination this weekend.

In interviewing candidates, Trump said he would not discuss whether they would reverse the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision.

Jeff Flake of Arizona said he would not try to block Trump's nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who on Wednesday announced his retirement from the high court, in exchange for a vote on curtailing Trump's tariff powers.

Trump told Fox Business Network this week that he would probably not ask the question of potential nominees.

"For voters in deep-red states who support Trump, this will be the litmus-test vote for whether you have President Trump's back or not", said Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a campaign group aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, have been full steam ahead preparing to vote on Kennedy's replacement before the midterms in November, despite arguments from Democrats that the vote should be postponed until after the 2018 elections.

"It is exciting though, right?" said Trump.

In other remarks to reporters, President Trump said he would raise the issue of alleged Russian election meddling when he meets President Putin in Finland on 16 July.

"I finished the book last summer and this was the chapter I was least certain about - I thought it would get the most pushback from institutional Democrats and people committed to norms and rules", Faris said.

This week, five more candidates were added to Trump's list. The 53-year-old appeals court judge is a former clerk for Justice Kennedy.

More news: Trump could pick Utah senator to fill Supreme Court seat

Adam Liptak and Maggie Haberman rather bury the lede in their NYT report "Inside the White House's Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening".

White House aides said other names are in the mix as well. "I said, 'Mr. President, that's your choice'".

Although a conservative, Justice Kennedy has sided with liberals on previous decisions, including the 5-4 rulings that decided same-sex marriage and upheld abortion rights.

He was among several senators who met Thursday with Trump at the White House.

"I would not be surprised at all if it not only set a record, but we saw far more spending than we saw in past Supreme Court battles", Robert Maguire of the Center for Responsive Politics told the Hill.

During Kennedy's tenure, Deutsche Bank became Trump's most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion (U.S.) in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in NY and Chicago at a time when other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history. Also of interest are Amul Thapar, a federal appeals court judge from Kentucky who is close to McConnell; Brett Kavanaugh, a former clerk for Kennedy who serves on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., and Amy Coney Barrett, who serves on the federal appeals court in Chicago.

In the end, the Supreme Court doesn't have to entirely overturn Roe v. Wade to leave the legal standard substantially weakened or even effectively gutted, said Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law. The Judiciary Committee does not have any Democrats who look as if they may jump ship and vote with Republicans on Trump's nominee.

"We're not looking at this as a strictly partisan vote", said Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs.

On the day she endorsed candidate Trump in March 2016, the late iconic anti-abortion activist Phyllis Schlafly first asked him privately whether he would appoint more judges like the conservative Antonin Scalia, recalled Schlafly's successor Ed Martin, who was in the room at the time.

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