According to those sources, Putin whittled down a lengthy list of possible candidates to just two, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Thomas M. Hardiman, before selecting the one he believes will best advance the interests of the Russian Federation.
Those familiar with the selection process said that the Russian President did not consult with Donald J. Trump before making his final decision.
“Putin didn’t want one of those ‘too many cooks’ situations,” one Kremlin source said. “He told Trump that he would e-mail him the name a good half hour or so before Trump has to announce it to the media.”
Surprisingly, the usually brash Putin found the responsibility of choosing the next Supreme Court Justice “daunting,” sources said.
“Nominating a Justice to the United States Supreme Court is one of the most important decisions a Russian President can ever make,” Putin reportedly said.