Donald Trump and SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy had been involved in negotiations for weeks about his retirement as Kennedy sought assurance that Brett Kavanaugh would be nominated, according to an NBC News report.
White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah did not deny that those negotiations took place when asked about it.
To be clear: This is from one source and dont have any info on whether potus talked to kennedy about a possible replacement.
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) July 10, 2018
Politico adds: ‘After Justice Anthony Kennedy told President Donald Trump he would relinquish his seat on the Supreme Court, the president emerged from his private meeting with the retiring jurist focused on one candidate to name as his successor: Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy’s former law clerk…Trump, according to confidants and aides close to the White House, has become increasingly convinced that “the judges,” as he puts it, or his administration’s remaking of the federal judiciary in its conservative image, is central to his legacy as president. And he credits Kennedy, who spent more than a decade at the center of power on the court, for helping give him the opportunity.’
Wrote WaPo’s David Litt last week on the long relationship between Trump, Deutsche Bank, and Kennedy: “The existence of a personal connection between a conservative Supreme Court justice and a real estate billionaire turned president seems to shock some political observers. It shouldn’t. Of course the Trumps and Kennedys know each other: Both families belong to the most exclusive circle of America’s elite. This upper-upper crust has members from across the country, but it functions as a kind of a gated community, one in which personal and professional relationships inevitably intertwine. America’s super-elite sends its kids to the same schools. They bump into each other at Davos or Aspen or the Alfalfa Club in Washington. They socialize. They do business. They donate. They raise money. They take one another’s calls.”