The wife of a Trump administration official attacked a woman on Instagram for not being wealthy.
On Monday night, Louise Linton posted a photo of herself and her husband — Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — getting off a government aircraft. A purse in one hand a scarf in another, Linton tagged the photo with hashtags labeling various parts of her designer outfit. The two had traveled together to Kentucky, where they attended a luncheon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and promoted a Republican tax reform plan that will dramatically cut rates on corporations.
Linton, an actress and producer, married Mnuchin in June. Mnuchin reportedly has a net worth of $500 million.
In a comment under Linton’s photo, a woman criticized her for making the trip look like a taxpayer-funded vacation, writing, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.” Linton responded by shaming the woman — the New York Times identifies her as Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Portland, Oregon — for not being as rich as she is.
“Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!” Linton wrote. “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?”
Linton went on to call the woman “adorably out of touch” before ending her comment on this note — “Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”
— Margarita Noriega (@margarita) August 22, 2017
As her comment was widely criticized, Linton edited the photo caption.
Linton’s condescending remarks come as Mnuchin, a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs who later ran a bank that has been described as a “foreclosure machine,” ramps up his sales pitch for a tax reform plan that the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says will disproportionately benefit the top one percent of earners. Polling released Monday indicates an overwhelming majority of Americans favor taking the opposite approach. Mnuchin has offered contradictory answers about whether the administration seeks to cut rates on middle-income earners.
Other Trump administration officials have generated controversy by blurring the lines between brand-building and public service. Linton’s post came on the same day as news about how President Trump’s lifestyle is creating huge financial and logistical problems for the Secret Service and for taxpayers.
“The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission — in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast,” the USA Today reported. “The agency has faced a crushing workload since the height of the contentious election season, and it has not relented in the first seven months of the administration. Agents must protect Trump – who has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia – and his adult children whose business trips and vacations have taken them across the country and overseas.”
Trump’s private golf clubs have charged the Secret Service about $60,000 just on golf cart rentals, according to the report. Trump and his daughter Ivanka, who now works for him the White House, have repeatedly used government social media accounts to promote themselves their personal business interests.
UPDATE (8/22, 4:15 p.m.): Linton has apologized both for her Instagram post and the condescending comment she posted in response to it, saying in a statement that “[i]t was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”