During the July 4 picnic at the White House, Trump suggested to friends and some external advisors that he had already made up his mind about whom he will pick to join the high court, the person said on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing deliberations.

That source, along with another person familiar with the negotiations, said the president gave strong indications that he prefers D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, would throw his backing behind whoever the president nominates, a source said.