- President Donald Trump will base his pick for Supreme Court nominee largely on his gut, Axios reported on Thursday.
- White House officials said his choice will be determined by “who he feels most comfortable with in a personal setting.”
- Trump is scheduled to announce his nominee on Monday, July 9.
President Donald Trump is expected to announce his pick to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement on Monday, and he will make his pick off his gut instinct, Axios reported.
Trump’s decision will most likely come down to “who he feels most comfortable with in a personal setting,” a White House official involved in the screening process for judicial nominees told Axios.
The same official said that many of Trump’s big presidential choices come down to his personal feelings, and that his decision-making process won’t be “an analysis of Pennsylvania politics.”
Image and presentation plays a large role in Trump’s choices for important nominees for various positions in the government.
“Don’t forget, he’s a showbiz guy. He was at the pinnacle of showbiz, and he thinks about showbiz. He sees this as a business that relates to the public,” Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, a prominent Trump confidant, told The Washington Post in 2016.
Trump has so far met with seven potential nominees. While most are current federal appeals court judges pulled from a previously determined list of 25, Utah Sen. Mike Lee is also in the running and has reportedly spoken with Trump.
“I think you’ll be very impressed. These are very talented people, brilliant people and I think you’re going to really love it, like Justice [Neil] Gorsuch. We hit a home run there, and we’re going to hit a home run here. And step by step, we are making America great again,” Trump told attendees at a Salute to Service dinner honoring veterans in West Virginia on Tuesday.
Another aide told Axios that while his official announcement is scheduled for Monday, they wouldn’t be surprised if Trump went ahead and announced his nominee a few days earlier.
Trump’s staffers, however, are reportedly encouraging him to wait until Monday, arguing he will get more media coverage if he sticks with this timeline. They successfully used the same logic to encourage him not to start his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a day early, according to The Washington Post.
“When the president has made up his mind, he wants to go,” the aide said.