Raj Shah, who holds a key position in the White House, has briefed reporters on board presidential Air Force One, becoming the first Indian-American to enjoy the privilege. Shah, 33, did so in the capacity of Principal Deputy Press Secretary, a position to which he was promoted by US President Donald Trump in September as he restructured his press office by making Hope Hicks the Director of Communications. Shah was accompanying Trump as he flew to Missouri to deliver a major speech on middle-class and business tax relief. Air Force One is the plane that carries the US president when he travels.
Mid-way to St Louis, Shah, the highest ranking Indian- American ever in the White House press office, gaggled with the travelling media. Gaggle is the term used for informal briefing by the White House Press Secretary, which is on the record but bars reporters from videographing. Shah took questions ranging from the president’s controversial tweets, to North Korea, and tax cuts. The interaction lasted for about 12 minutes. Shah was born in 1984 to Indian parents of Gujarati origin. Shah’s parents moved to Chicago in 1970s and then moved to Connecticut where he was born and raised. US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had listed Shah among the top Indian-American performers working under the Trump administration.