A top White House spokesman once called his boss, President Donald Trump, “a deplorable” and admitted feeling a degree of schadenfreude when the Washington Post released the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape in October 2016, New York magazine reported Monday.
White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah made the comments when he worked for the Republican National Committee as its research director and deputy communications director.
A few hours after The Washington Post released the “Access Hollywood” tape on Oct. 7, 2016, on which Trump is heard making crass remarks about women, Shah sent a series of messages to Andrew Hemming, a senior researcher at the RNC at the time.
“u wanna hear something a little f--ked up?” Shah wrote at 10:57 p.m.
“Sure,” Hemming replied.
“I’m kinda enjoying this, some justice. I honestly don’t think it’s the worst thing he’s done but he somehow got passes for the other acts,” Shah wrote. “Trump is a deplorable.”
Shah declined to comment to the magazine, but White House communications director Hope Hicks fiercely defended Shah in a statement to the magazine on Monday.
“Raj Shah is a talented operative and skilled communicator. We have always known about his previous roles and are so pleased he is using his unparalleled capabilities to advance the agenda of President Trump, whom he has tremendous respect for,” Hicks said in the statement.
“Perhaps if the leakers trying to undermine him were as talented and smart as Raj, they would be here fighting for the American people every day, rather than trying desperately to remain relevant by spreading information that Raj himself shared many months ago. Raj’s skills as a press secretary are only surpassed by his stellar character.”
Shah was brought to the White House by former RNC chairman and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
As one of the president’s chief spokesmen, Shah has made frequent TV and print appearances as a White House flack.
He traveled with Trump on Air Force One on Monday and gaggled with the press on the plane.