Politics

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s Wife Mocks Woman on Instagram

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton was not happy when she saw a critical comment on her Instagram photo the other day. She had posted a photo of her and her husband disembarking from a government airplane, writing “Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!” accompanied by hashtags referring to what she was wearing–#rolandmouret, #hermesscarf, #tomford, and #valentino. Linton was on the plane because she decided to join her husband on a brief trip to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state.

A woman commented on the photo, saying, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.” Most people would probably ignore a comment they don’t like from someone they don’t know, but Linton went off on a long, snarky rant. “Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the U.S. govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol,” she wrote with a few accompanying emojis.

She continued:

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.

She concluded the harangue writing, “Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!” Her condescending and mocking tone has made a lot of people angry. The Instagram user whom she attacked, Jenni Miller from Oregon, said she was shocked by Linton’s words. But she couldn’t reply, as Linton later made her account private.

“If she hadn’t made her account private, I would have written back with a very snide Marie Antoinette joke,” Miller told the New York Times. She emphasized how she couldn’t believe Linton would hashtag and promote luxury brands while on a visit to Kentucky, which has a high poverty rate. But Linton was too late making her account private–a screenshot of the exchange made it around the internet and the backlash was swift.

Linton’s husband, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, worked for Goldman Sachs before going into the movie business and then joining the Trump Administration. He actually produced some hit movies, like “Suicide Squad,” “The Lego Batman Movie,” “Collateral Beauty,” “Sully,” and “The Legend of Tarzan.” Mnuchin sold his stake in the production company he co-started in June, to avoid ethical conflicts after being appointed a government role.

Linton is originally from Scotland and moved to Los Angeles for school and later pursued an acting career. She also studied journalism and law in California. Last year, she was in the middle of a controversy after her book, “Congo’s Shadow: One girl’s perilous journey to the heart of Africa,” was published.

The book chronicled her year as a volunteer in Zambia in 1999, but Linton was heavily criticized for portraying herself as a “white savior” and for the book’s patronizing descriptions of Africans. Questions were also raised about the accuracy of events she describes. For example, she writes about Zambia’s “dense” jungles, while critics note that Zambia largely consists of savannah.

The Treasury Department has not commented on the Instagram controversy, but an official said the Mnuchins reimbursed the government for the Kentucky trip noted that Linton was not paid by any of the brands that she promoted.

Emma Von Zeipel
Emma Von Zeipel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. She is originally from one of the islands of Stockholm, Sweden. After working for Democratic Voice of Burma in Thailand, she ended up in New York City. She has a BA in journalism from Stockholm University and is passionate about human rights, good books, horses, and European chocolate. Contact Emma at EVonZeipel@LawStreetMedia.com.

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