Donald Trump puts his hand on Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh's shoulder. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump has interviewed Office of Management and Budget official Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. circuit court, Axios has learned. 

Why this matters: Given the power federal agencies have to affect national policy and law, the judges of the D.C. Circuit can have an extraordinary impact over the direction of the country. Because of this, people often refer to the D.C. Circuit as the second-most powerful court in the United States, behind only the Supreme Court.

Behind the scenes: Don McGahn, as one of his last acts, recommended Rao for the job, according to sources close to the situation.

  • Sources briefed on Trump's thinking say he initially liked the idea of nominating a minority woman and somebody who could be a feeder of Supreme Court.
  • Immediately after Trump met with Rao, two sources briefed on their encounter say they got the strong impression that the president was not impressed by her.

Yes, but: A third source, who is close to Trump, told me late this week that it seemed like he was reconsidering his initial judgement of Rao and may still pick her. Spokespeople for the White House and the Office of Management and Budget declined to comment for this story.

  • Rao's advantages: She's well respected at the OMB, knows regulatory law back to front, has the advantage of already being Senate-confirmed and is well-liked by several key Democratic senators.

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Why it matters: The primaries, which aren't part of the city's official political process, are intended to whittle down the field of pro-democracy candidates in order to avoid splitting the vote against pro-China ruling politicians in September's legislative elections.

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Biden's doctrine: Erase Trump, re-embrace the world

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, and Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November, advisers tell Axios — starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response.

The big picture: If Trump's presidency started the "America First" era of withdrawal from global alliances, Biden's team says his presidency would be the opposite: a re-engagement with the world and an effort to rebuild those alliances — fast.