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Trump to announce Supreme Court pick next week

President Trump said Tuesday he will announce his selection to fill the Supreme Court vacancy “sometime next week.”

"I'll be making my decision this week, we'll be announcing next week," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "We have outstanding candidates, and we will pick a truly great Supreme Court justice." 

Trump’s nomination to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat is expected to trigger a high-stakes battle in the Senate.

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The announcement comes hours before the president plans to sit down with Senate leaders at the White House to discuss his nominee to the high court.

Republicans last year refused to give former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE's nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing or a vote. They argued that the vacancy shouldn't be filled during an election year.

But Democrats have pledged to put up a fight over Trump’s nominee.

“If the nominee is not bipartisan and mainstream, we absolutely will keep the seat open,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Schumer has come under Republican fire for indicating that he would be willing to leave the Supreme Court seat open if Trump doesn't appoint a "mainstream" nominee.

The New York Democrat is scheduled to sit down with Trump Tuesday afternoon in the Roosevelt Room to discuss the pick, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Congress fails miserably: For Asian-Americans, immigration proposals are personal attacks Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees MORE (R-Iowa) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinLawmakers feel pressure on guns Feinstein: Trump must urge GOP to pass bump stock ban Florida lawmakers reject motion to consider bill that would ban assault rifles MORE (D-Calif.) — the top members on the Judiciary Committee.

Trump outlined a list of 21 potential picks during the campaign and has reportedly been narrowing down possible selections.

His nominee will need 60 votes — including at least 8 Democrats — to be approved by the Senate.

--Jordain Carney contributed to this report,