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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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.

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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.

"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.