President Trump has arranged to meet with shortlisted Supreme Court candidate Barbara Lagoa during a campaign visit to Florida on Friday, according to two sources familiar with his plans.
What we're hearing: Sources who know both Trump and Lagoa say they still expect the president to pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett, but they view the Lagoa meeting as a wild card because they say she has a charismatic personality that would appeal to Trump.
- The majority view in Trump’s inner circle is that Barrett would be easier to confirm because senators are familiar with her. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told Trump that senators feel comfortable with Barrett.
- A source close to the process said anything that complicates the confirmation proceedings — and allows more time for Democrats to inject “mischief” — is to be avoided at all costs. More education would be needed for senators who are less familiar with Lagoa, the source added.
- Trump met with Barrett at the White House on Monday.
Between the lines: Lagoa, a 52-year-old judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, is the daughter of Cuban exiles.
- Top aides to the president say Lagoa, who grew up in a heavily Hispanic suburb of Miami, could be politically beneficial to Trump, who without winning Florida could lose reelection.
What they're saying: Trump said Monday that he does not personally know Lagoa, but called her “terrific.”
- Trump added that he tries not to say that politics would play a role in his decision, but "I think probably automatically it is. Even if you’re not wanting to do that it becomes a little automatic.”
- The White House declined to respond to a request for comment.