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Wife of White House official said sexual harassment in the military should be no surprise

A female Marine demonstrates her capabilities in Marine Corps martial arts, non-lethal weapons, foreign weapons handling and combat lifesaving to Romanian and U.S. soldiers in Romania on Sept. 29, 2016.

MICHELLE REIF/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By FELICIA SONMEZ | The Washington Post | Published: July 11, 2018

Darla Shine, the wife of White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, is again coming under fire this time for remarks she reportedly made on her radio show roughly a decade ago.

On a 2009 episode of the "Darla Shine Show," Shine declared herself a "sexist," said that it was "insanity" that women would want to serve on the front lines of combat and suggested that women in the military should expect to be sexually harassed, according to a report published Wednesday by CNN.

"You know there was just a story with these girls, these women who are upset that they are sexually harassed in the military," Shine said, according to CNN. "What do you think is going to happen when you go on a submarine for 12 months with 4,000 horny soldiers? I hate to say it, but it's true. They should not even be allowed."

According to CNN, Shine also proclaimed that sunscreen is a "hoax," suggested the 2009 swine flu outbreak may have been a government "setup" and repeated a rumor in 2008 that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was unable to obtain a security clearance, among other controversial statements.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Shine's remarks.

The "Darla Shine Show" was syndicated by the Talk Radio Network, whose programming also included the shows of other conservative commentators such as Laura Ingraham.

Shine is a former television producer and the author of a book about the joys of being a stay-at-home mom called "Happy Housewives." The reports about her past comments come less than a week after the White House announced that her husband had been hired as an assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for communications.

Previously, he had served as co-president at Fox News until he was ousted in 2017 after lawsuits suggested he had enabled alleged sexual harassment by the network's late chairman and chief executive, Roger Ailes.

Last week, the website Mediaite drew attention to racially-charged remarks and unfounded medical theories Darla Shine had posted to her now-deleted Twitter account.

She reportedly made statements questioning why white people would be labeled racist for using the n-word while black people would not, defending the Confederate battle flag and highlighting instances of black-on-white crime.

Shine also tweeted stories that put forth debunked information about the danger of vaccines at least a dozen times a topic that she frequently raised on her radio show. Any link between autism and vaccines has been disproved by various studies over the years.

"We're not going to be forced to vaccinate our children," Shine said on her show in August 2009, according to CNN. "We're not going to be forced to give our children what we don't want to give them. It's unconstitutional. We have the power over our families and if we allow that loss, if we lose that power, I ask you this, what is next, folks?"

The Washington Post's Eli Rosenberg contributed to this report.

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