Aside from the occasional Suicide Squad joke, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has successfully avoided the media spotlight always trained on his presidential boss. Even when Donald Trump delivered a bewilderingly brash press conference a few days after the violence in Charlottesville, Virgina — during which he seemingly defended white supremacists — Mnuchin cited his Jewish heritage while defending the president’s comments. Yet he still managed to avoid the general ire, thanks largely to Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s exit from the White House. Unfortunately, Mnuhcin’s wife, Louise Linton, has found the spotlight again.
According to the New York Times, Linton accompanied her husband during a day trip to Kentucky in a military jet covered with official government markings not unlike those splashed across Air Force One. “Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!” she wrote. After praising the region for its people and countryside, however, Linton’s post dumped a litany of brand hashtags that included #rolandmouret, #hermesscarf, #tomford and #valentino. She also tagged the brands’ accounts in the image itself.
Aside from the questionable use of government property and administrative duties as a backdrop for advertising, what drew the most attention was Linton’s decision to respond specifically to a comment left by Jenni Miller of Portland, Oregon. Described as a “mother of three” and a registered Democrat by the Times, Miller wrote, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.” Evidently the actress was displeased with the concise comment, because she responded with a vitriolic paragraph in which she wrote, “You’re adorably out of touch”:
“Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!” she wrote. “Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?”
Ms. Linton went on: “I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.”
If that wasn’t enough, Linton evidently combed through Miller’s Instagram account before writing her response, because she included passive aggressive comments about how “cute” the latter’s kids and life were.
Once more and more attention was drawn to Linton’s post and response, she made her Twitter and Instagram accounts private and apparently deleted the original photo. “If she hadn’t made her account private, I would have written back with a very snide Marie Antoinette joke,” Miller told the Times in an interview. “I think my post was just five or six words, and she had to go on basically a rant about it to make herself look more important and look smarter, better, richer — all those things.”
A Treasury Department spokesperson wouldn’t provide the Times with an official comment on Linton’s post. However, they did say she and Mnuchin “reimbursed the government for the trip” and that the actress received no compensation for the brands featured in her Instagram.
UPDATE: According to CNN, Linton apologized for her original Instagram post and her irate response to Miller in a statement from her publicist. “I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
(Via New York Times)