President Trump met with a bipartisan group of six senators at the White House Thursday night to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy left by the looming retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The president met in person with Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, "The President’s team also talked with more than a dozen other Senators today as part of ongoing outreach to get views and advice from both sides of the aisle on this important nomination.”
Collins, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin and Murkowski are seen as potential "swing" votes in the battle over Kennedy's replacement. Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, a slim margin that is effectively 50-49 in the absence of the John McCain, who's been recovering from brain cancer treatment. That means Republicans effectively cannot lose any support for President Trump's pick.