White House spokesman Raj Shah leaves White House

By Fin Gomez

/ CBS News

White House adds to demands over shutdown

Washington – Former White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah, the first Indian-American to hold that position, has officially left the White House and joined the firm of powerful lobbyist Brian Ballard, who has long counted Donald Trump as one of his lobbying clients and has known him for 30 years. Shah will not be a lobbying for Ballard, however, and will instead be launching and co-heading the firm's new media group with former Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin, a Bill Clinton appointee who has worked for Ballard since last year.

"I'm excited to join Brian, Jamie and the top-notch team," Shah said in a statement.

Shah officially left the administration early this month. He spearheaded the White House's media efforts to push the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh through the Senate.

CBS News was the first to report in June that Shah was considering leaving the administration. Before joining the Trump administration in December 2017 as deputy communications director, Shah was the top researcher at the Republican National Committee (RNC), where he was known for his prowess in opposition research. Shah is one of the last RNC staffers brought over to the White House after the 2016 election by former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer.

First published on January 15, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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