Coney Barrett, Kavanaugh among candidates who met with Trump: report

Coney Barrett, Kavanaugh among candidates who met with Trump: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE met Monday with Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Amul Thapar and Raymond Kethledge as potential candidates for a looming Supreme Court vacancy, The Washington Post reported

Trump told reporters earlier in the day that he’d met with four potential nominees to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, praising them as “outstanding people" without naming any.

The Post reported that in addition to the four federal appeals court judges Trump met with Monday, Judge Thomas Hardiman is also on the president’s narrowed list of possible nominees.

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The White House has kept quiet about the identity of the nominees Trump has been focused on.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to name names during Monday’s press briefing, but said Trump met with four candidates for 45 minutes.

“The president is being very thoughtful about this process. He’s looking for certain characteristics, which we’ve outlined,” Sanders said, adding that Trump will meet with a few other people throughout the week.

The president said on Friday he had narrowed his list of 25 possible nominees to five, including two women. He has said he plans to announce the pick on July 9

Kennedy announced last week he will retire from the Supreme Court on July 31, providing Trump with an opportunity to make a second justice appointment. 

The president said during the 2016 campaign that he would look to nominate "pro-life judges," who he expected would then vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. He has more recently said he does not intend to explicitly ask potential candidates about their views on the case.

However, Democrats have cited his past comments and warned that the future of Roe v. Wade and protections for women’s health are on the line with Trump’s pick.