According to emails obtained by New York Magazine, White House spokesman Raj Shah during the 2016 election called President Trump “a deplorable” and the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape “some justice.”
Shah, who has become a visible figure in the White House press office, made the remarks while working at the Republican National Committee, the news outlet reports.
“U wanna hear something a little f—ed up?” Shah wrote in an email to another RNC staffer just hours after the “Access Hollywood” tape emerged in October 2016.
“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 was heard describing groping and kissing women without their consent in the 2005 tape.
“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump is heard saying on the tape. “You can do anything.”
He apologized for the remarks after The Washington Post uncovered the hot-mic recording, calling them “locker room” talk.
Shah also said that “Trump is a deplorable” in the email.
The magazine also noted that Shah left the RNC to work as the managing director of America Rising, a group linked to former GOP candidate Jeb Bush.
Shah had rejoined the RNC in 2016, but later that year asked a senior RNC researcher for a clip of Trump praising former President Obama’s decision to name Clinton as secretary of State as “a great appointment.”
Shah warned the researcher against using official GOP email while discussing the footage. The researcher soon found the clip and sent it to Shah, according to New York. That clip appeared in a Bush campaign ad three days later.
Shah, a deputy press secretary in the White House, declined to comment to the magazine for the story. A senior White House official told New York that Shah had already informed higher-ranking officials about his past comments.
White House communications director Hope Hicks said the White House has “always known” about Shah’s previous roles and that Shah has “tremendous respect” for Trump in a statement to the news outlet.