Anthony Kennedy agreed to retire after urging Trump to pick former clerk Brett Kavanaugh: report
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The Trump administration has been negotiating Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement for months, according to a new report.

Kennedy agreed to retire at the end of the term that concluded last month after providing a list of suitable replacements to President Donald Trump that included the name of a former law clerk, reported NBC News.

On Monday, the president nominated Brett Kavanaugh, the conservative former Kennedy clerk.

NBC News reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell later updated her report, saying she incorrectly implied a "transactional nature" in Kennedy's replacement.

However, she said a source who was not directly part of the talks told her that Kennedy provided Trump with a list of acceptable replacements.

Kavanaugh was the only candidate who the White House deemed conservative enough to consider, sources said.

He and four other candidates were added in November to the Federalist Society-approved list of choices.