Donald Trump is headed back to Washington DC as he prepares to select the new Supreme Court justice.
The president and Melania Trump retreated to his golf club resort in Bedminster, New Jersey for the weekend.
But the getaway hardly put a damper on Trump's tweeting, as he continued to take aim at the Democrats and pat himself on the back for recent Supreme Court wins.
'A big week, especially with our numerous victories in the Supreme Court,' he tweeted on Sunday.
But the getaway hardly put a damper on Trump's tweeting, as he continued to take aim at the Democrats and pat himself on the back for recent Supreme Court cases
'Heading back to the White House now. Focus will be on the selection of a new Supreme Court Justice. Exciting times for our country.'
The resort in Bedminster is known to be a summer 'White House' for the president, who prefers to spend winters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
It was Trump's first week at Bedminster this year. He spent 40 days total at the New Jersey resort last year.
US taxpayers will pay for $60,000 worth of golf carts and $27,000 for a portable bathroom for the Secret Service at Trump's golf resort, according to NJ.com.
The state was paid $1million in federal funds to cover security expenses after the resort was declared a 'residence of the president'.
Trump and Melania were seen boarding Air Force One to make their way back to DC on Sunday afternoon. Melania cut a casual figure in jeans and a pink shirt
The resort in Bedminster is known to be a summer 'White House' for the president, who prefers to spend winters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida
Trump discussed the upcoming US Supreme Court vacancy with White House Counsel Donald McGahn over the weekend, according to spokesman Raj Shah.
He also spoke on the phone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss 'trade and other economic issues' and also chatted with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia about the global market.
Meanwhile about 200 demonstrators set up camp near the golf club to protest Trump's immigration policy.
Trump and Melania were seen boarding Air Force One and returning to the White House around 4.20pm on Sunday.
The president revealed on Friday that he has narrowed his list of potential Supreme Court nominees to just a handful of candidates, including two women.
Trump discussed the upcoming US Supreme Court vacancy with White House Counsel Donald McGahn over the weekend, according to spokesman Raj Shah
He also spoke on the phone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss 'trade and other economic issues'
'I've got it narrowed to about five,' he told reporters aboard Air Force One, adding a promise to make his final choice public on July 9.
'I'll be announcing it the Monday after the Fourth of July,' Trump said. 'I like them all.'
'We've got great people...It is a group of highly talented, very brilliant, mostly conservative judges.'
'Outside of war and peace, of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge, if you get it,' he told the reporters. 'As you know, there are many presidents who never get a choice.'
The president is mostly interested in appointing someone young, according to a White House aide, so the new conservative justice can shape the court for at least a quarter-century.
The president revealed on Friday that he has narrowed his list of potential Supreme Court nominees to just a handful of candidates, including two women
One high court hopeful, Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, seemed to stand out as an anomaly for making a public show of his ambitions.
'I actually saw him on television last night, where he said he would love the job. You know, usually, they don't say that,' the president noted.
He called Lee, who has been the beneficiary of on-air lobbying by fellow conservative senator Ted Cruz of Texas, 'an outstanding talent.'
Utah Sen. Mike Lee might have been too forward about promoting himself for a high court slot: Trump noted Friday that Supreme hopefuls usually don't do that
Trump had said earlier in the day that he doesn't plan to ask potential high court justices whether they would favor overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion.
'That's a big one, and probably not. They're all saying, "Don’t do that," "You don’t do that," "You shouldn’t do that",' he told the Fox Business Network in an interview airing Sunday.
'I don't think I'm going to be so specific,' Trump told host Maria Bartiromo.
On Air Force One, he was more definitive: 'That's not a question I'll be asking them.'
Marjorie Dannenfelser, who leads the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, told DailyMail.com that the president's position is reasonable.
'I don’t blame him for not asking because they won’t answer him,' she said, pointing to the typical response of a judicial nominee when asked how he or she would rule on a given issue.
Supreme Court justices, especially, are expected to allow court precedents and the U.S. Constitution to guide their decision-making, and seldom respond to hypothetical scenarios.
Trump's 2017 nominee, Neil Gorsuch, has been reliably conservative. He sided with a 5-4 majority this week in a ruling that crisis pregnancy centers can't be forced to promote state-sponsored abortion services to their clients.
'I'm very proud of Neil Gorsuch. He has been outstanding,' the president said.
Trump has previously vowed to nominate 'pro-life' justices. He is expected to personally interview a handful of finalists chosen from a list of 25 candidates.
'I'm putting conservative people on,' he insisted, without spelling out any litmus tests he might apply.
Dannenfelser said Friday that she trusts the judgment the short-list represents.
'We believe everyone on this list is a constitutionalist and therefore would help start changing abortion law in a reasonable direction,' she said.
Anthony Kennedy (front row, 2nd left) will retire at the end of July, giving Trump a chance to nominate his second justice in two years; His first nominee, Neil Gorsuch (back row, right) sided with pro-lifers this week in a case about whether crisis pregnancy centers can be forced to promote state-funded abortion services
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser says there's nothing wrong with Trump steering clear of third-rail issues like abortion when he interviews potential Supreme Court picks, 'because they won’t answer him'
One front-runner is federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh. He recently wrote a dissent when his colleagues allowed an illegal immigrant teen in U.S. custody to have an abortion.
The 53-year-old Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Kennedy and was an associate independent counsel during the Whitewater investigation into Bill and Hillary Clinton's controversial Arkansas land deal.
Another much-discussed candidate is 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Sykes, a George W. Bush appointee.
The 60-year-old sat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1990 until 2004.
The dark horses include Sen. Lee and his brother – a Utah Supreme Court judge – and a newly appointed 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge named Don Willett.
The 51-year-old jurist is best known for his Twitter feed, where he has described himself as an 'extravagantly blessed husband & co-founder of 3 wee Willetts as well as a 'former drummer and rodeo bull rider.'
Willett's tweets have covered the Dallas Cowboys, Austin barbecue and his three young children, led the Texas House of Representatives to name him the state's 'Tweeter Laureate.'
The president, who once told an interviewer that he was proudly pro-choice, landed in election-year hot water for saying women should face 'some form of punishment' for breaking a future federal law banning abortion.
Both sides of the abortion debate had strong reactions this week when Justice