Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s wife apologized Tuesday for some crass comments she made online after experiencing backlash. Louise Linton, a Scottish actress and model, posted a glamorous photo on Instagram of herself and Mnuchin exiting a government plane following a trip to Kentucky.
In the now-deleted post, she shared the picture after their official visit to Fort Knox to promote President Trump’s tax reforms. She probably thought it was a fantastic post; it was a picturesque image of her in a pristine outfit, suit-wearing husband with a patriotic red tie and a plane in the background reading “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” Instagram models everywhere would positively squeal with happiness at such a perfect post. But it was what she chose to do with the post and her comments after that has her treading in hot water.
After her extravagant marriage ceremony to Mnuchin in June, no one should really be surprised that Linton hashtagged numerous high-end designers in her post, including Valentino and Tom Ford. One user, Jenni Miller, replied to the caption and hashtags with, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway #deplorable.”
And off we go.
In a crystalline example of an “I’m not mad, you’re mad” response, Linton revealed just how immature and silly she is. Instead of attempting any semblance of diplomacy or tact, she directly engaged the user in a tasteless manner.
“@jennimiller29 cute! Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! 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? 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. You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message, one filled with wisdom and humanity would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!” she wrote in response, finding a liberal use for the kiss emoji.
Why is this even news? Myself, along with many others, found the whole exchange another perfect example of how disconnected this administration is. As the Guardian so aptly put: “Is everyone connected to Trump contractually obliged to match exactly his degree of graceless piggery? It would seem so.”
Given, Linton is not an official member of the Trump administration. But her framing of Mnuchin’s net worth as a burden and their months in Washington as harrowing servitude fits right in with the overall attitude of Trump’s cronies. Fair enough, she ended on a sort-of good note, telling Miller to be positive and share that around. But the overall tone was sarcastic, and not in a funny ha-ha kind of way. It reeks of privilege that comes from wealth.
As an actress whose most prominent project is the 2016 remake of ‘Cabin Fever,’ her comment gives off the impression that she views herself as a pillar of the economy. And bringing up the fact that she and her husband pay a lot of taxes just highlights that she is pretty much drowning in wealth- and the idea that she pays more taxes because she has more money seems outrageous to her. What really irks me is her use of “self-sacrifice to the country.” When we talk about sacrifice for our country, do we think of rich European actresses dressed head-to-toe in designer brand names? It’s as though she believes what she has given up is somehow on par with our military personnel, who are literally sacrificing their lives to protect our freedoms here. Because our brave men and women in uniform overseas and at home are who I think of when we mention sacrificing for our country. Where the hell does Linton get off on saying this shit?
On top of that, there was no official or obvious reason for her to accompany her husband to Kentucky. Mnuchin went as the latest attempt in an ongoing push for a tax-code overhaul. And why did the two of them take a government plane for a domestic trip? Typically, Treasury Secretaries fly commercial- without their spouses- when they are flying around on brief US work trips. A Treasury spokesman has since stated that the Mnuchins reimbursed the government for Linton’s travel, and that her clothing and products are not associated with the government or taxpayer money. Linton has since made a public apology through her publicist, after the post was deleted late Monday and her Instagram made private.
“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.” The fact that it had be made through a publicist is just golden though. It’s reminiscent of Trump’s second press conference after Charlottesville, where he was forced to condemn white supremacist groups by name because his first statement was full of what he really thought. It’s the classic aftermath apology, and no one is taking it seriously. It lacks sincerity, and Linton has yet to prove that she’s aware a world outside of Valentino exists.
“She went to a state where one in five people lives in poverty and many children don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Miller told CNN in an interview. “Instead of helping in some way, she chose to brag about her outlandishly expensive clothes. It’s more than tone-deaf, it’s deplorable.”
It really was. In her original Instagram comment, Linton managed to paint Mnuchin’s $300 million net worth as a burden, being in Washington as Mnuchin’s domestic partner as public servitude, and attempted to paint herself as an ordinary American and a member of the economic underclass. God forbid, someone pays taxes! Considering Mnuchin and Linton live in a $12.6 million home, when the hell did they become the picture of the ordinary American life? Of course, we can’t expect much from the woman who wrote an inaccurate, offensive, and highly criticized memoir about her travel to Zambia, who spent weekends at her family’s castle growing up, and shared details about her 12-piece jewelry set in an interview about her wedding.
The thing that kills me right now is that we’re all talking about her. I literally spent 30 minutes googling her to write this piece. And even though she’s officially apologized, I have no doubt that she’s reveling in her new-found popularity. Now we all know who she is- so I guess she’s not just an ordinary American citizen. But she’s another example of the type of person Trump keeps in his inner circles: wealthy, disconnected from middle-class problems, and delusional in thinking that they’re somehow God’s gift to the United States. In case you didn’t know Linton, you’re not.