President Donald Trump has narrowed his choice down to four candidates ahead of Monday’s nomination announcement — his second U.S. Supreme Court justice pick less than two years into his presidency.
Multiple sources tell ABC News that as of Sunday, the final four individuals Trump is considering for the vacancy are Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.
The reveal is scheduled to take place at 9 p.m. Eastern time during a prime-time address in the White House’s East Room.
Hardiman, who was runner-up to Neil Gorsuch as the president’s Supreme Court pick last year, made a comeback on Trump’s shortlist this weekend in part because of the president’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who serves with Hardiman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
But with mere hours left to go before his self-imposed deadline, Trump, who has been consulting with family, friends and advisers this weekend while in Bedminster, New Jersey, has reportedly yet to make a final decision.
He signaled as much while boarding Air Force One Sunday, telling reporters, “I’ll be deciding tonight or tomorrow sometime by 12 o’clock and we’re all going to be meeting at 9 o’clock.
“We are close to making a decision,” Trump said. “Let’s just say it’s the four people. They’re excellent. Every one you can’t go wrong.”
Trump’s aides have prepared briefing books and booked television spots for whomever he picks, anticipating that they’ll have little time to spare between his decision and the reveal, sources tell ABC News.
The potential nominees were narrowed down from a list of 25 administration-approved judges, former judges and one member of Congress, as curated by Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society and Trump’s top Supreme Court adviser.
“I’m very confident with this president’s enthusiasm and with Leader [Mitch] McConnell’s enthusiasm that they can get anybody confirmed,” Leo told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.
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SOURCE: ABC News, Benjamin Sui