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Trump says he is 'saving' Barrett for Ginsburg seat: Axios

President TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE has reportedly said he is "saving" Judge Amy Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, according to Axios.

Barrett was a popular choice among conservative activists as a candidate to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy before Trump eventually nominated Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court rules against NCAA in dispute over student-athlete compensation Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision MORE.

Axios reported that Trump has made clear his desire to replace Ginsburg with Barrett since Kennedy’s decision to retire, telling people on separate occasions, "I'm saving her for Ginsburg."

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Trump also opted against nominating Barrett over concerns that her opposition to abortion rights would lead Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (R-Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (R-Maine) to vote against her, according to the news outlet. Aides were reportedly confident enough Republicans would gain Senate seats in the 2018 midterms that they decided a more conservative nominee would stand a better chance of confirmation after the elections.

Ginsburg, 86, recently returned to the bench after missing a series of cases in January because of cancer surgery last December.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.