Politics

Watch: White House takes questions as Trump begins search for next Supreme Court nominee

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Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is slated to take questions at the White House on Monday as the Trump administration and its opponents jockey for political leverage on multiple fronts.

After 81-year-old Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement last week, President Donald Trump said he would "immediately" begin the search for Kennedy's replacement. Trump said he planned to nominate a judge from a list of 25 conservative candidates that was partly compiled his presidential campaign, though the list has reportedly grown since then.

Trump said Friday that he will announce his pick on July 9, and later told reporters that he has already interviewed four potential nominees.

With Republican majorities in Congress and more than four months before the November midterm elections, Democrats face an uphill battle if they plan to block Trump's second court pick, which could establish a more solid conservative to replace the more moderate Kennedy.

Meanwhile, stocks fell on Monday as the White House's tariff threats continued to concern investors. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that falling stocks would not change Trump's trade policy.

U.S. allies affected by the trade policies are striking back. Canada plans to impose $12.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports, joining Mexico and the European Union.

Axios also reported on Sunday that the Trump administration, on orders from the president, drafted a bill that would unmoor the U.S. from the rules of the World Trade Organization. Most White House officials do not think the bill has a realistic chance of passage, Axios reported.

Despite Trump's assurance that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat," U.S. intelligence agencies said that they believe North Korea has been producing more fuel for nuclear weapons at secret locations in recent months, NBC News reported Friday, citing more than a dozen officials. Trump had hailed his unprecedented summit with leader Kim Jong Un as a great success; he now plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

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