Before joining the Trump administration, the White House principal deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, called President Donald Trump “a deplorable” and referred to the release of the Access Hollywood tape as “some justice,” according to private messages independently obtained and verified by New York. Shah, who worked at the Republican National Committee during the 2016 election, also asked an RNC colleague to dig up an old video clip of Trump that shortly afterward showed up in a Jeb Bush commercial.
Shah is an increasingly visible part of the White House staff. In recent weeks, he’s regularly appeared on TV as a White House surrogate, a job usually performed by better-known officials. The communications obtained by New York provide a window into the complex drama of the Trump White House, where the operatives who serve at the pleasure of the outsider president have in the past expressed contempt for him — and sometimes still do.
“Holy shit,” a source who advised Trump said, “plenty of people in the West Wing hate him right now. You hear them say things like, I’m serving the country. That’s code for, I hate the fucker.” On the campaign, the former adviser said, “we all thought he was a moron. He’s by no means a stupid guy, but he was such a pain in the ass and stubborn.” Shah declined to comment.