Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, apologised for her widely condemned Instagram post last month in which she mocked an Oregon woman’s lifestyle and boasted about her wealth.
A photo Linton posted to Instagram, which showed her disembarking from an Air Force jet with her husband during a day trip to Kentucky, received some critical comments. In response to one commenter who wrote “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable,” Linton unleashed a long rebuke.
“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, who married Mnuchin in a June 2017 ceremony attended by the president and officiated by the vice president, went on to call the woman “adorably out of touch” and her children and life “cute.”
In an interview and photo spread with Washington Life published on Tuesday, Linton, posing in ball gowns, apologised for the comment and the photo, calling her response “indefensible” and not reflective of her values.
“I concede completely to the comments of my critics. My post itself and the following response were indefensible. Period. I don’t have any excuses, nor do I feel any self-pity for the backlash I experienced. I sincerely take ownership of my mistake,” Linton said. “It’s clear that I was the one who was truly out of touch and my response was reactionary and condescending. I wish I hadn’t spoken in such a patronizing tone. It was an out of character, knee-jerk reaction, and I felt so awful about it that I removed it.”
Linton added that her husband’s government work did not, in fact, qualify as a sacrifice.
“I don’t feel like a victim. I feel like the world gave me a good, hard wake-up call and I’m OK with that,” Linton said. “I had no place to talk about sacrifice when there are millions of men and women making real sacrifices for this country every day. My husband is very fortunate to be part of the government. It is a great honour and privilege and in no way is his work, or my part in this, any kind of sacrifice.”
The appropriateness of the day-long trip, during which Mnuchin, Linton, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell visited a gold stash at Fort Knox and viewed the solar eclipse in one of the country’s prime viewing spots, is being investigated by the Treasury Department’s inspector general, The Washington Post reported last week.
Linton called the episode a “life-changing event” that has helped her refocus on her interest in animal welfare.
“Since this happened I’ve been researching social issues in my community and reading the heartbreaking stories of peoples’ experiences with homelessness and abuse,” she said. “This has truly opened my eyes and humbled me.”
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