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White House official once called Trump 'a deplorable'

Another uncomfortable email revelation for the Trump administration.
Credit: Getty Images

Well, this is awkward.

Increasingly visible White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah called Donald Trump "a deplorable" and said that the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape was "some justice," New York magazine reported Monday.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Shah worked for the Republican National Committee and supported Jeb Bush's campaign. According to emails New York obtained, on Oct. 7, 2016, the day the Washington Post published the "Access Hollywood" tape, he emailed an RNC colleague, saying, “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 added, “Trump is a deplorable.” (A month earlier, Hillary Clinton had described half of Trump's supporters as "a basket of deplorables," referring to racists, sexists and homophobes.)

Shah had also emailed the colleague looking for anti-Trump opposition research in December 2015: A clip of Trump praising President Obama and Hillary Clinton in a 2008 interview, which later surfaced in a Jeb Bush ad.

A senior White House official told New York that Shah had informed them about the messages. To be sure, the story isn't an isolated revelation: Several Trump officials reduced the future president to filth before joining his administration, including Trump's seemingly ride-or-die surrogate Kellyanne Conway.

“Holy s—t,” a former Trump adviser told New York, "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 f—ker.'"

The former adviser said that, on the campaign, “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." 

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks released a statement that read, in part, "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. 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."