Mnuchin’s Wife Is Paying Her Own Way on Treasury Trips, Official Says

Updated on
  • ‘You’re adorably out of touch,’ she tells critic of her trip
  • Louise Linton apologizes for ‘inappropriate’ social media post

Before Donald Trump picked him to be his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin was a Goldman Sachs partner, hedge fund manager, bank owner, and Hollywood producer. In other words, he was sitting on top of the elite institutions Trump mocked on the campaign trail. If he's confirmed, few people will have more influence over tax policies, how Americans bank and save for retirement and how the government pays its bills. This is the Bloomberg profile of Steven Mnuchin. (Source: Bloomberg)

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife are reimbursing the government for transportation costs when she travels with him on official business, a department official said.

Louise Linton, a Scotland-born actress who married Mnuchin in June, stirred up controversy on social media Monday when she responded condescendingly to a critic on Instagram, where Linton had posted a photo of herself exiting a U.S. government aircraft after a flight from Kentucky. She was holding what appeared to be a Hermes Birkin handbag, a brand and model that sells for more than $10,000, and her post included hash tags of the designer clothes, shoes and sunglasses she was wearing.

Louise Linton

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The secretary went to Louisville to promote the Trump administration’s tax reform agenda, including rate cuts for the middle class, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The senator’s home state of Kentucky is one of the country’s poorest.

On social media, Linton, responding to an Oregon woman who criticized her “little getaway,” wrote “I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day trip than you did.” The actress also said she’s “pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours,” adding “you’re adorably out of touch.”

Internet Class-War

Linton, 36, has since made her Instagram account private. She apologized on Tuesday saying her social-media post was “inappropriate and highly insensitive,” according to an emailed statement from her publicist.

The Internet class-war that Linton sparked was a distraction for an administration trying to sell a tax plan that appeals to a wide swathe of the country and can garner enough votes to pass Congress by its year-end goal. Mnuchin, a former investment banker and Hollywood-film financier, is trying to convince some Democrats that the tax overhaul won’t skew benefits to the rich.

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“For most people in the top rate, they’re not gonna get a tax cut,” Mnuchin, 54, said Monday. “As a matter of fact, I sometimes get complaints from my friends in New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and California and Illinois, that their taxes aren’t going down.”

This isn’t the first instance of Linton courting controversy. In 2016, she published a memoir titled “In Congo’s Shadow” about her gap year in Africa, that was panned for portraying her as “white savior” and inaccurately suggesting Zambia was a war-torn country. The southern African nation has been largely peaceful and hosts tens of thousands of refugees from neighboring nations. Linton withdrew the book from the shelves, donated the profits to charity and issued an apology, The Telegraph newspaper reported.

In June before her wedding, Linton talked to Town & Country magazine about the array of diamond jewelry she’d wear on the big day.

— With assistance by Anousha Sakoui

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