BEDMINSTER, N.J. — President Trump said Friday that he plans to announce his pick to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on July 9, quickly kicking off a confirmation battle that the White House and Senate Republicans hope to finish by early fall.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew to his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort for the weekend, Mr. Trump said that he has narrowed down his Supreme Court candidates to “about five people,” including two women. He later said he would “probably interview six or seven altogether.”
“We have great people,” Mr. Trump said, describing them as “highly talented, very brilliant, mostly conservative judges.” Mr. Trump said that he plans to interview one or two of his candidates this weekend.
Justice Kennedy, who is retiring after three decades on the Supreme Court, gives Mr. Trump a historic opportunity to shift the ideological makeup of the court with a reliably conservative jurist who is less likely than Justice Kennedy to align with the court’s liberal members.
Mr. Trump has said he would pick from a list of 25 people, most of them federal judges. All of the people on the list have been vetted by conservative legal organizations and are seen as likely to change the balance of the court.
Democrats have warned that anyone on Mr. Trump’s list would support overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that established a woman’s right to an abortion. Activists are already gearing up to fight whomever the president picks.
Asked about whether his pick would support overturning Roe v. Wade, Mr. Trump said, “I’m not going to ask them that question.”
Asked about Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who is on his list of potential Supreme Court candidates, the president said he had seen Mr. Lee on television talking about how he would like to be considered for the court seat, and “usually they don’t usually say that.”
Mr. Trump’s timeline for announcing his pick suggests that he is eager to get the confirmation process started. Marc Short, the president’s legislative director, laid out an aggressive schedule for the process so that the court would be at full strength when the next session convenes in October.
“As the process moves forward with the Senate staying here through August, there would be opportunity for the candidate to meet with Judiciary Committee members individually,” Mr. Short told reporters at the White House.
“Hopefully hearings would happen over the course of the summer, and by the time we come back from Labor Day, there’s the scheduling of a floor vote in the Senate, so that the nominee can be there for the new session starting in October,” Mr. Short said.
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, described a similar timeline on Friday in an interview with Fox News.
“We should be able to work our way through the confirmation process sometime before early fall,” Mr. McConnell said. He said he hoped the president’s pick will get some support from Democrats despite the criticism from liberals that began moments after Justice Kennedy announced his retirement.
“We’re not assuming this is just going to be a straight party-line vote,” Mr. McConnell said. “I think there will be some Democrats who find the nominee attractive. We’ll have to see — we don’t have a nominee yet. It’s a lot easier to talk about it once you do.”
In addition to talking about the Supreme Court, Mr. Trump also told reporters that he planned to discuss a variety of topics — including Syria, Ukraine and elections — with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia during their inaugural summit meeting next month in Helsinki, Finland.
“We don’t want anyone tampering with elections,” Mr. Trump said, a day after posting on Twitter that “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”
Mr. Trump blamed former President Barack Obama for Russia’s seizure of Crimea, saying, “President Obama allowed that to happen.” Later he added, cryptically, that “we might be talking about some things President Obama lost.”
Asked if the United States would recognize Russia’s claim on Crimea, the president said, “We’re going to have to see.”
Mr. Trump disputed a report by Axios that he had discussed leaving the World Trade Organization, telling reporters, “I’m not talking about pulling out,” before going into a litany of complaints about the “unfair treatment” the United States faced from the organization and other countries’ trade deficits.
“We’ve been treated very badly,” he said.
Mr. Trump skirted the question of the possible departure of John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff.
The president called Mr. Kelly “a wonderful man.”
“We have a very very good relationship,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ve achieved a lot together.”
Asked if Mr. Kelly is leaving the White House, the president said, “That I don’t know. I like John a lot. I like him and I respect him.”
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