Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin's wife Louise Linton has deleted this Instagram, which contained tagged designers and some interesting comments pic.twitter.com/MvPhPJtRze— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) August 22, 2017
Update: According to CNN reporter, Jeremy Diamond, Linton apologized on Aug. 22 for her actions. "I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive," she wrote in a statement.
Back in January, First Lady Melania Trump had to learn the "hard way" that you shouldn't promote your own jewelry line so shamelessly. Eight months later, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife found this out for herself. On Aug. 21, 36-year-old Louise Linton posted a photo to Instagram of her and her husband deboarding a plane and tagged various luxury designers in it. Her profile, which was public at the time, was quickly inundated with comments bashing her for such a show of flagrant opulence, including one comment that called her a "deplorable." Instead of keeping quiet and ignoring it, Linton instead decided to respond to the comment and position her story as "woe is me" for allegedly paying more in taxes than the commenter.
Linton, who married Mnuchin in June, accompanied her husband on an Aug. 21 business trip to Kentucky where he was slated to discuss tax reform. Apparently Linton felt this was her moment to take on her true role as an Instagram influencer, tagging brands such as Tom Ford, Hermes, and Valentino in her post. The comment that gave Linton the most ire? One from Jenni Miller, who wrote "glad we could pay for your little getaway #deplorable." Linton responded to her and wrote,
"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 hunanity [sic] would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It's fab!"
It appears that Linton believes she and her husband are exempt from any bashing simply because they pay more in taxes and "sacrifice" a lot. What the sacrifice she's referring to actually is remains to be seen, especially considering the fact that if you can afford a bunch of luxury-designed items, you can't be forgoing that much. Miller told The New York Times she wished Linton hadn't made her account private and couldn't believe her response. "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," Miller said to The New York Times. Instead, she took the time to turn the situation into a positive one, asking people to donate to her friend Marty's fundraising campaign to receive inpatient rehab for a stroke.
For what it's worth, a department official told Bloomberg Politics that "Mnuchin and his wife are reimbursing the government for transportation costs when she travels with him on official business." Maybe they can also encourage Linton to keep her Instagram posts to a minimum for now.