The Trump administration was rocked by yet another departure of a high-level official today as White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President Raj Shah announced that he has left his position to take a job in the private sector.
Shah, who was a frequent fill-in for White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders back in the days when daily press briefings were still being held by the Trump administration, is launching a new media relations firm with a high-profile lobbyist, Brian Ballard, and will head the new company, according to a report on The Huffington Post.
Also joining the new media affairs business will be Jamie Rubin, a former assistant secretary of state for public affairs under President Bill Clinton.
Shah issued a statement saying:
“Companies, organizations, and industries today face increasing scrutiny from an unrelenting media landscape. Our team, with years of proven results, will provide the strategic communications clients need to navigate these challenges and successfully deliver their message to the right audience.”
Both Shah and his supervisor, Huckabee Sanders, have been rumored to be departing a White House riven with so many defections and firings in the past few months that now “a quarter of the President’s Cabinet is filled by acting department heads,” according to a CNN report. “On top of that, across the government, almost 40% of key leadership positions that require Senate confirmation are vacant.”
With both Shah and Sanders said to be having trouble finding new jobs after their reputations suffered from being associated with the constant stream of lies and evasion emanating from the White House Press Office, Shah’s ability to land a new gig means that his lower profile than Sanders and the fact that he successfully helped shepherd Brett Kavanaugh through his congressional hearings to a seat on the Supreme Court helped him escape the crushing gravity of his White House orbit.
Shah’s departure will only feed the speculation over when Huckabee Sanders herself will leave her current role, which sources have been predicting since last summer that she’d be exiting by the end of last year. Her continued presence in the role as the third year of the Trump administration begins only reinforces the impression that her potential employment prospects are dim.
With the government shutdown dragging on and his “essential” staff, the ones unaffected by the federal employee furloughs, rapidly jumping ship, it’s no wonder that Trump has taken to tweeting about how he’s all alone in the White House.
I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
Any president with half a brain would begin to wonder why so many people are doing their best to escape his administration and question their own role in the work environment that so many people regard as too toxic to endure. Unfortunately, that isn’t the kind of president we are currently saddled with.
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Original reporting by Hayley Miller at The Huffington Post.