The source told CNN that Trump specifically said he “would like to choose” the federal appeal of Amy Coney Barrett, who is popular with religious conservatives but doubts he will secure support from the US Senate.
A senior administration official told CNN that the White House was prepared to move “very quickly” when proposing a candidate to replace Ginsburg as soon as Trump announced his intentions.
In a message to GOP senators Friday, McConnell did not specify a timeline for the nomination, but made it clear he believed there was enough time to run for office this year. While candidates usually take two to three months to process, McConnell, who controls a majority in the Senate, could follow the process quickly.
Conservatives are pushing McConnell behind the scenes to consider moving ahead of the November election to fill the vacancy – possibly leaving the conference divided over which timetable is best.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Friday that he believes Trump should appoint a successor to the court next week.
Ultimately, it will be McConnell’s decision, not the one he will take without advice from its members in the coming days.
Speaking to reporters Saturday morning, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany was asked by CNN’s Joe Johns if the president had contacted McConnell or other Senate Republicans about the next steps.
“No, as far as I know,” he replied, adding, “At the moment, the President is focusing on the value of the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
He called on Democratic presidential spokesman Joe Biden to publish a list of potential Supreme Court candidates so voters could know where he was.
Ahead of the news of Ginsburg’s death, Biden told reporters on Friday that he did not believe he would release any names of possible Supreme Court justice candidates before the election.
This story has been updated with additional developments on Saturday.
CNN’s Sam Fossum, Joe Johns, Lauren Fox, Jim Acosta, Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.