Trump has asked advisers about nominating Mike Lee to Supreme Court: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE has privately asked advisers for their thoughts on the possibility of nominating Utah Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeUtah group complains Mia Love should face criminal penalties for improper fundraising Senate approves 4B spending bill Overnight Health Care: Opioid legislation passes overwhelmingly | DOJ backs Cigna-Express Scripts merger | Senate passes ban on pharmacy gag clauses MORE (R) to the Supreme Court as Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement, according to a Thursday report.

Three sources familiar with the White House search for a new justice told Bloomberg News that Trump has raised the possibility of Lee, whom he believes would easily pass a Senate confirmation vote.


The news comes just a day after Lee told reporters on Capitol Hill that he was still interested in being named to the nation's highest court were Trump to extend the offer. Lee was one of just over 20 names released by the White House last year of potential replacements for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a seat that eventually went to Justice Neil Gorsuch.

According to Bloomberg, Trump's main concern about nominating Lee stems from his desire to see Republicans retain control of the Senate after November's midterms, when Democrats need a net gain of two seats to retake the upper chamber.

Advisers have assured the president that the seat would remain reliably Republican, though Trump reportedly countered by noting that he received the same advice about the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump attack on Sessions may point to his departure Hillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe Sessions in Chicago: If you want more shootings, listen to ACLU, Antifa, Black Lives Matter MORE that was won last year by Sen. Doug Jones (D).

Bloomberg's report conflicts with statements made by Leonard Leo, a White House adviser on leave from the Federalist Society aiding with the court selection process, who told NBC News this week that Trump's selection to replace Kennedy would be a judge.

"It will certainly be someone with a demonstrated judicial record," Leo said.

Lee said on Wednesday that he was honored to be considered on Trump's shortlist.

"I started watching Supreme Court arguments for fun when I was 10 years old. So if somebody asked me if I would consider that, I would not say no," he told reporters on what he would say if Trump asked him to serve," the Utah conservative told reporters.