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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is trolling everyone. Either that or he's genuinely undecided, right up until the final day before he announces, in a prime-time address on Monday night, who he's picked to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

What we're hearing: Sources who've spoken to the president over the past 24 hours tell me, as of Sunday afternoon, that he still truly hasn't made up his mind and is still vacillating in phone calls to friends and advisers between his "final four" judges: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman and Raymond Kethledge.

  • Kavanaugh has always been the frontrunner — and is a favorite of White House Counsel Don McGahn — but Trump has been mentioning Hardiman more frequently over the past few days.
  • Politicos outside the White House, including Trump allies Lou Barletta and Rick Santorum, have been lobbying hard for Hardiman, touting his political benefits to White House officials, according to a source with direct knowledge.
  • They've argued that Hardiman better matches the blue collar, outsider, western Pennsylvania coalition that helped elect Trump in 2016. (Trump also feels comfortable with Hardiman, who was one of his two finalists last year.)
  • The judge who's most exciting for the Republican base appears to be Barrett — a 46-year-old judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, a staunch social conservative and mother of seven children.

White House staff — even at a very senior level — have been given no guidance on who Trump has chosen and those who've discussed the decision with him are genuinely of the view that he hasn't made up his mind.

  • The White House team working on the Supreme Court nomination process had built out detailed roll-out scenarios for each of these final four judges I mentioned above. They've crafted messages to sell each potential candidate and have compiled lists of potential validators to promote each judge in the media and on Capitol Hill.
  • McGahn has led the process internally, working with his team. From a communications standpoint, the White House's principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah is in charge.

But, but, but: Don't discount the possibility that Trump has made up his mind — or all but done so — and is simply enjoying keeping everyone, even those closest to him, guessing. A source who spent a lot of time talking to Trump during last year's Neil Gorsuch confirmation told me "he loved the drama and theatrics of the announcement where no one knew before he revealed Gorsuch in the East Room."

  • "My guess," the source continued, "is that he's pretty much made up his mind but he's not telling anyone because he wants the surprise effect like last time. He's capable of keeping a secret when it's in the service of a PR success."

Behind the scenes: Trump has chosen an interesting cast of characters to surround himself with for his final hours of deliberation. The president spent the weekend hanging at his New Jersey golf club with friends and aides, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, former Fox News co-president Bill Shine (who recently joined the White House in a senior role), chief of staff John Kelly and son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

Go deeper

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.