Trump Ally Set to Leave Role as Speaker’s Press Secretary

Raj Shah, communications director for House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) will leave his job by the end of the summer, The Epoch Times confirmed.

Raj Shah, an ally of former President Donald Trump and communications director to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), will leave his job on Capitol Hill by the end of the summer.

The Epoch Times independently verified reports of Mr. Shah’s imminent departure.

Before coming to the Capitol after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) ouster as speaker, Mr. Shah served as deputy press secretary in President Trump’s administration.

He later left the position for a job as senior vice president at Fox News in July 2019, where he propelled coverage in a direction more favorable to President Trump.

Mr. Shah has managed Mr. Johnson’s public image during a tumultuous time in Congress, coming into the position as part of the new team that replaced Mr. McCarthy.

In that time, Mr. Johnson has had to manage deep divisions within his thin majority while addressing issues that are sometimes deeply unpopular with the GOP base.

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The biggest of these standoffs came in recent weeks, when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) brought an ultimately unsuccessful motion to vacate against Mr. Johnson, the same tactic that ended in Mr. McCarthy’s ouster in October 2023.

It was a win for Mr. Johnson, but one that came at the cost of his image with some Republicans, since he relied heavily on Democrats’ support.

During his time as communications director, Mr. Shah has had to manage the fallout of several decisions that led to that motion being brought to the floor.

Almost immediately after taking office, Mr. Johnson brought a stopgap funding bill to the floor, and then others as his conference continued to work on FY 2024 government funding. This was the same maneuver that cost Mr. McCarthy his job.

Later, rather than passing the funding bills one by one, Mr. Johnson combined all remaining funding into a single $1.2 trillion omnibus that passed with Democrats’ help at the end of last year—another parliamentary gambit that Republicans sought to end when they took the majority in January 2023.

This year, Mr. Johnson was instrumental in bringing about the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) without imposing stricter warrant requirements.

Mr. Johnson, who as speaker doesn’t always vote, cast the decisive vote to kill the warrant requirement—another move that hurt the speaker’s image with civil liberty hawks in his conference.

Later, he helped Senate Democrats pass President Joe Biden’s $95-billion foreign aid package, which included around $61 billion in funding for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel and humanitarian assistance in Gaza, but no funds for U.S. border security.

It’s unclear what Mr. Shah will do after leaving the post, or who will take his place.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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