White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah touted the release of the Access Hollywood tape as “justice” and referred to Donald Trump as a “deplorable” during the lead-up to the 2016 election, messages acquired by New York Magazine reveal.
As a Republican National Committee employee during the election, Shah, who previously worked with a political action committee that spawned numerous Jeb Bush staffers, reportedly notified a colleague of the existence of a CNN clip where Trump praised then-president-elect Barack Obama in December 2008.
Three days after sending the clip to his coworker, and seven years to the day the segment aired, it appeared in a Bush campaign ad titled “Happy Anniversary, Donald!” Andrew Hemming, the coworker Shah discussed the clip with, also left the RNC to work at the Trump White House.
When discussing the Access Hollywood tape, Shah suggested to Hemming that he experienced schadenfreude watching Trump get criticized for his comments.
“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,” he wrote. “Trump is a deplorable.”