Donald Trump Makes Surprise Announcement During White House Diwali Celebration

US President Donald Trump speaks during the Diwali ceremonial lighting of the Diya at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 13, 2018. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump celebrated the Indian holiday of Diwali on Tuesday, welcoming several Indian American administration officials to the White House for the occasion.

The president surprised everyone by announcing his decision to nominate Neomi Rao, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administrator, to fill the United States Court of Appeals seat for the D.C. Circuit court. The seat was recently vacated by Judge Brett Kavanaugh after he accepted Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“I won’t say today that I just nominated Neomi to be on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” Trump said to the press. “That could be a big story.”

Rao served as a clerk in the United States Supreme Court for Justice Clarence Thomas and led Trump’s effort for massive deregulatory cuts.

After his speech, Trump lit the Diya lamp in honor of the holiday.

Other administration officials spotted at the ceremony were Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; deputy press secretary Raj Shah; and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


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