President Trump and Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
The Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will continue as scheduled, despite President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump testing positive for coronavirus, three Senate GOP aides tell Axios and Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham later confirmed.
Between the lines: Barrett has been in close contact with several top White House aides, including Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, who may have been exposed to the virus.
- She has also met with several senators this week ahead of her confirmation hearings, which are slated to begin on Oct. 12.
- White House spokesperson Judd Deere told Axios that Barrett, who was with Trump last Saturday, is tested daily for COVID-19, and that she tested negative on Friday.
- "She is following CDC guidance and best practices, including social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequently washes hands," Deere said.
- Democratic leadership could not immediately be reached for comment.
What they're saying: Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters Friday that he and Trump spoke earlier that morning, and said the first thing Trump asked him was about the status of Barrett's hearings.
- Graham said he told Trump: “We’re on track, we’re in a good spot, she’s going to get confirmed and we’ll start on Oct the 12th.”
Worth noting: Even if Democrats were to resist hearings in person, the Senate has conducted several virtual high-level hearings throughout the pandemic.
- Barrett's confirmation hearings will also have a virtual option.