Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE's D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao further clarified Monday her past remarks on date rape in a letter to the ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Rao, who serves as Trump’s regulatory czar, was grilled last week by the committee about controversial writings that surfaced after her nomination, namely a 1994 opinion piece for The Yale Herald in which she appeared to argue that women are partially to blame for sexual assault.


She wrote at the time that if a woman “drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was a part of her choice.”

Rao went into much more detail in her letter Monday than during the hearing last week.

"Upon reviewing a transcript of the hearing, and after conversations with members of the Committee, I concluded my testimony may not have adequately conveyed my current views on the subject," she wrote to Judiciary Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRomney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report MORE (R-S.C.) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe GOP lawmaker offers constitutional amendment capping Supreme Court seats at 9 Overnight Energy: Judge halts drilling on Wyoming public lands over climate change | Dems demand details on Interior's offshore drilling plans | Trump mocks wind power MORE (D-Calif.)

"While responding to events and debates on campus, I failed to recognize the hurt my words could cause a survivor of such crimes. I recognize now the arguments I made might discourage a victim from coming forward or seeking help. With little knowledge or experience, I lacked the perspective of how this might be perceived by others, particularly victims of sexual assault."

"If I were to address these issues now, I would have more empathy and perspective."

Rao is currently the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a subagency tasked with reviewing and approving agency actions.

In her role, she has led Trump’s push to roll back regulations, particularly those enacted during the Obama administration.

Democrats have expressed worry that those rules she helped repeal might end up being challenged in the D.C. court.

The regional appeals court is viewed as the nation’s second most powerful because to the cases presented to it. The court hears challenges to regulatory actions taken by the federal government.

Feinstein asked Rao to commit to recusing herself from all cases involving the Trump administration’s regulatory moves during last week's hearing. Rao responded that she would look into recusal standards and follow D.C. court precedent on the issue.