The source told CNN that Trump specifically has said he would “love to pick” federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is a favorite among religious conservatives, but doubts he’ll secure support from the US Senate.
A senior administration official told CNN that the White House is prepared to move “very quickly” on putting forward a nominee to replace Ginsburg once Trump signals his intentions.
In a message to GOP senators on Friday, McConnell did not indicate a timeframe for considering the nomination but made clear he believes there’s enough time to take up the nominee this year. While nominees typically take two to three months to process, McConnell, who controls the majority of the Senate, could fast track the process.
Conservatives are pushing McConnell behind the scenes to consider moving before the November election to fill the vacancy — potentially leaving the conference divided over what timeline is best.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Friday that he believes Trump should nominate a successor to the court next week.
Ultimately, it will be McConnell’s decision and not one he’ll make without input from his members in the coming days.
In speaking with reporters Saturday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked by CNN’s Joe Johns if the President has been in contact with McConnell or other Senate Republicans on next steps.
“Not that I’m aware of,” she replied, adding, “Right now the President is squarely focused on honouring the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
She called on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees so voters know where he stands.
Before news of Ginsburg’s passing, Biden told reporters Friday that he doesn’t think he will release any names of potential Supreme Court nominees before the election.
This story has been updated with additional developments Saturday.
CNN’s Sam Fossum, Joe Johns, Lauren Fox, Jim Acosta, Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.