Mnuchin says he should take it 'as a compliment' that people compared him to a James Bond villain after the money photos went viral

Steve mnuchinFox News SundayTreasury secretary Steve Mnuchin on Fox News.
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he wasn’t expecting photos of himself at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to be made public.
  • The photos of Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton holding new money bearing his signature went viral last week.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he wasn’t bothered when people online compared him to a James Bond villain after he posed for photos with money at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing last week.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” to promote Republicans’ efforts to pass a major tax reform bill, the Treasury secretary said he wasn’t expecting photos of himself and his wife Louise Linton holding newly-printed dollar bills with Mnuchin’s signature on them to be made public.

“I guess I should take that as a compliment, that I look like a villain in a great, successful James Bond movie,” Mnuchin, a former Hollywood producer, said. “I was very excited of having my signature on the money.”

He added: “I didn’t realise that the pictures were public and going on the internet and viral, but people have the right to do that.”

Jacquelyn Martin, the AP photojournalist who snapped the shots, said there were multiple other media outlets there for the unveiling of the $US1 bills. Mnuchin and Linton held the sheet of money up to pose for the cameras, she said.

The images quickly went viral, and opponents of President Donald Trump’s tax reform push used them to cast the administration’s efforts as out-of-touch and benefiting the wealthy.

Democrats trolled House Republicans using viral images and memes incorporating the images during the floor debate on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the GOP legislation aimed at overhauling the federal tax code.

Watch the clip via Fox News:

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.