Trump reshuffles White House staff to focus on Supreme Court nomination

President Trump has temporarily reshuffled his staff to assist with the confirmation process of his second nominee to the Supreme Court, a week before he plans to reveal his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday that her deputy, Raj Shah, plans to take a leave of absence from his current role inside the West Wing press shop to “oversee communications, strategy and messaging coordination with Capitol Hill allies” once Trump announces his nominee.

Shah will work closely with White House counsel Don McGahn, who is charged with leading the selection and confirmation process.

And Justin Clark, current director of the Office of Public Liaison, will lead outreach initiatives to conservative and grassroots groups that are likely to support Trump’s nominee. Several of these groups, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Judicial Crisis Network, have already begun to place pressure on vulnerable Senate Democrats who will have to decide whether to vote in favor of a conservative Supreme Court Nominee ahead of the midterm elections.

Trump, who is likely to meet with some of the candidates this week, is being guided through the process by “a team of attorneys from the White House Counsel’s Office and Department of Justice,” Sanders said.

The president has set July 9 as the day he plans to reveal his second nominee to the high court, just before he leaves on a multi-country European trip for the annual NATO summit and his first formal bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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