White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah, who has become an increasingly prominent figure on the West Wing’s communications staff in recent months is planning his exit, Yahoo News reported on Tuesday.
Shah plans to leave the White House after the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ends. He has been in charge of the White House’s communications strategies in support of Kavanaugh since President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the nation’s high court in July.
Shah, who reports directly to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, initially believed that his communications role during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process would allow him to leave the White House on a positive note, Yahoo News White House correspondent Hunter Walker wrote.
White House counsel Don McGahn has also pinned his departure on Kavanaugh’s expected confirmation.
The recent sexual misconduct accusations against Kavanaugh have seemingly muddied those prospects. While Kavanaugh is still expected to be confirmed once senators hold a vote, there are lingering uncertainties — particularly with regard to the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while they were in high school in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh has denied any wrongdoing.
Ford is set to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. A vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is scheduled for Friday.
Like President Donald Trump and several of Kavanaugh’s allies, Shah expressed optimism about Kavanaugh’s prospects.
“We firmly believe in Judge Kavanaugh, we believe in his nomination, we think that he’s going to make a fantastic Supreme Court Justice,” Shah told MSNBC on Tuesday. “The president made a great choice, an inspired choice in July in nominating him, and we’re moving forward.”
Shah’s potential departure first came up in a CBS News report published in June, which claimed that Sanders was also thinking about leaving.