Louise Linton, the glamorous newlywed wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, ignited controversy with an Instagram post that drew comparisons to the decadent French queen Marie Antoinette after she appeared to flaunt her wealth and exclusive lifestyle.
The post featured a picture of Linton stepping off an official government plane on a trip to Kentucky with her husband. Dressed in all white, the Scottish-born actress and producer carried a handbag and wore a silk scarf; she tagged the high-end designers, including Hermes, Roland Mouret, Tom Ford, and Valentino, who crafted her top-dollar outfit.
Instagram user Jenni Miller, a middle-class mother of three from Oregon, commented on the post what many other users appeared to be thinking: “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.”
Linton was not happy to receive that kind of reply.
“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,” she fired back, sprinkling sarcastic emojis throughout her post.
“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?” Linton continued. “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.”
Linton was not finished: “You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive, nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute.”
As if she predicted the public backlash her rage-filled comment would receive, Linton deleted the post and set her account to private – but screengrabs are forever. Now, Linton is eating crow.
“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response,” she said in a statement. “It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
A spokesperson for the Treasury also commented: “The Mnuchins are reimbursing the government for her travel, and she does not receive compensation for products she mentions.”
Mnuchin and Linton married in June of this year at a civil ceremony that took place at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C. and was initiated by Vice President Mike Pence. The couple reportedly met through mutual friends.