Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, faced criticism Tuesday for a since-deleted Instagram post in which she was flaunting her luxurious lifestyle and her withering response to a woman who called her out for having posted about it. Tuesday evening, in a statement issued by her publicist, she said she was sorry for both. “I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response,” she said in the statement. “It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
The photo in question showed her leaving a government plane after a visit to Kentucky, fully outfitted in clothing from designers such as Hermes, Tom Ford and Valentino, all of which she all tagged in the post. “Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside #usa,” she wrote of the visit she made with her husband. They visited Fort Knox and met with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell about tax reform.
Some users on the platform thought the post was uncouth and left comments to express their anger. “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable,” wrote Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Oregon. That remark drew Linton’s ire: “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 shot back in a sarcastic response. “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,” she continued, advising Miller to “chill out.”
A few hours later, the post was deleted and Linton set her account to private, but screenshots were being shared widely on social media. CNN reached out to Miller for a reaction on the Instagram rant, and she did not hold back either. “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. Instead of helping in some way, she chose to brag about her outlandishly expensive clothes. It’s more than tone-deaf. It’s deplorable,” she said.
Linton is no stranger to controversy. In 2016 she self-published a memoir on a year she spent in Zambia, which was roundly criticized for being tone-deaf and full of inaccuracies that advanced a “white savior narrative.” When she got married to Mnuchin in June, in a ceremony officiated by Vice President Mike Pence and attended by President Trump and many of his cabinet members, she gave an interview to Town & Country magazine about the diamonds she would be wearing, prompting similar derision for being “out-of-touch.”