The president said he would not ask potential nominees about their position on Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that gave women the right to an abortion.
Trump has previously advocated for pro-life judges, but told reporters he would not use Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion, as a litmus test.
"They're smart and tapped into the conservative legal community", he said.
"Sounds like they're ready to fight no matter who the nominee", McConnell said, referring to Democrats concerned about the ramifications of a second Trump SCOTUS pick.
Trump responded to questions about potentional nominees, including federal judges Brett M Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, as well as US Senator Mike Lee from Utah.
"He said he'd like the job, usually they don't say that", Trump said. It also noted Trump's affinity for Kennedy's past clerks when it comes to judicial nominations. Leo said he expected that work to start before Trump leaves on July 10 for a trip to Europe, adding that it was "not outside the realm of possibility" that the search process could conclude by then. Even though Republican leader McConnell changed Senate rules previous year to allow confirmation by simple majority, if Democrats hold together he can not afford defections.
"[Democrats] keep hoping that they're going to wake up one day in the sort-of-normal Washington, D.C., they grew up in", Faris said.
Collins and Murkowski - as well as a small cadre of moderate Democratic senators - are likely to receive heavy attention from Trump administration officials as the White House tries to secure support for the president's yet-to-be named nominee. "What we're seeing here is Gorsuch 2.0".
"Part of me says I would like to see it after the election because I think it will just fuel the turnout and have more participation in the election", Perkins said.
Although Lee did not endorse Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, Lee made clear the two are on good terms: "I have a good relationship with the president, you know?" Also attending were Republican Charles Grassley and Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.