The scene at the Trump Hotel in Washington was certainly on brand Tuesday night.
At a book party for Sebastian Gorka, the former Breitbart contributor and assistant to President Trump, unknown GOPers and young conservatives rubbed elbows with the evening’s hosts, first son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, as well as former Fox News executive and current White House staffer Bill Shine and his wife Darla.
While the night technically belonged to Gorka, whose book “Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies – With No Apologies” is out now, the spotlight gravitated toward Mrs. Shine, who practically sang when she introduced herself and husband thusly, “I’m the racist and he’s the rapist!”
It was a voice worthy of a Kindergarten teacher trying to get the attention of an unruly class. “That’s off the record,” interjected her husband, Bill, as he left a group of young conservatives to join his wife’s side.
“I’m always on the record,” Darla reassured those gathering around her.
Wait wait, let her explain. Back in July, Mrs. Shine came under fire for a series of (since deleted) tweets about the use of the “n-word” in rap music. In one she wrote, “Blacks stop using the N word!” Shine also promoted medical conspiracy theories about the link between vaccinations and autism: “1 out of 10 black boys has autism.” At Tuesday night’s book party, Mrs. Shine, a former TV producer, doubled down and said she can’t sing her favorite song – “Gold Digger” by Trump fan Kanye West – or else she’d be called racist.
One of the young men in Shine’s circle had sympathy for her: “And they twisted your words,” she said, “and made it seem something different.”
“Yes!” Mrs. Shine concurred.
Unlike his better half, Bill Shine – who’s served as the White House deputy chief of staff for communications since being ousted from Fox News following an uproar over the handling of sexual harassment allegations there – orbited on the outskirts of the party for much of the night. He made a quick pass through the cordoned off section of the lobby reserved for the party, but spent much of his time at the bar.
Other hot topics of conversation included Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage. But before Mrs. Shine could say much more Mr. Shine raised his eyebrows and he and Darla walked away, through the cavernous lobby of the Trump Hotel, and into the night.