Before he joined the communications staff in President Donald Trump’s White House, Raj Shah made statements critical of Trump, calling him a “deplorable” about one month before Trump secured the presidency, New York magazine reported Monday.
Shah, who now serves at the White House’s principal deputy press secretary and appears frequently on television to defend Trump, worked for the Republican National Committee during the general election.
Shortly after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape was published in October 2016, Shah weighed in in a text message to RNC colleague Andrew Hemming, according to text messages obtained by New York magazine. Shah asked Hemming, “u wanna hear something a little fucked up?”
Hemming responded, “Sure,” per New York magazine.
“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 then said, per New York magazine. “Trump is a deplorable.”
In a statement to New York magazine, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks said that the White House was already aware of Shah’s messages and was unconcerned.
“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.”