Trump says he's close to making final Supreme Court decision

Trump says he's close to making final Supreme Court decision
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE on Sunday said he's "getting very close to making a final decision" about his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Trump told reporters in New Jersey, where the president spent the weekend, that he expects to make a decision either Sunday night or by noon on Monday.

"We are close to making a decision," Trump said. "It's, well let's just say it's the four people. Every one you can't go wrong."

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Trump appeared to be referencing four judges who are considered the front-runners to be nominated: Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge.

Trump is scheduled to announce his choice on Monday at 9 p.m.

The president spoke with at least seven candidates last week for the looming Supreme Court vacancy, though the White House only identified one individual: Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Dems prepare next steps after Trump's veto Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget MORE (R-Utah), who is not considered to be among Trump's preferred choices.

As Barrett, Hardiman, Kavanaugh and Kethledge emerged as the likeliest choices in recent days, Republicans have begun to rally around each of them and expressed optimism that each one could be confirmed in the Senate.

“Republicans are holding four lottery tickets, and all of them are winners. If you’re a conservative Republican, the four people named ... are all winners, and every Republican should embrace these picks,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCNN anchor hits Trump: He didn't go to Vietnam 'until he was in his 70s' with 'Secret Service protection' Trump reignites criticism of McCain months after senator's death Graham defends McCain amid Trump attacks: 'Nothing about his service will ever be changed' MORE (R-S.C.) said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The New York Times reported Saturday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested to Trump that Hardiman and Kethledge might face less opposition in a confirmation hearing battle.