The wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Louise Linton, got into an Instagram spat on Monday when she mocked a commenter for not being wealthy enough to "sacrifice" what she and he husband have — in the form of taxes. Linton is a Scottish actress who has been married to the onetime Hollywood producer for two months.
The trouble came after Linton, who'd joined her husband for a trip to Kentucky, shared a photo of the couple disembarking from a government jet. "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!" she captioned the photo. She additionally listed the brands of the items she was wearing: "#rolandmouret pants, #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf, #valentinorockstudheels #valentino."
"Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?"
A woman by the name of Jenni Miller then responded, criticizing the photo. "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable,” she wrote. Miller lives in Portland and has three children, according to The New York Times.
Linton reacted by posting a long comment belittling Miller for having contributed less to the U.S. economy and having made less sacrifices than she and Mnuchin.
"Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!" wrote Linton. "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."
Linton went on to describe Miller's life and kids as "cute" and suggested the mother of three go "chill out" by watching Game of Thrones.
Screenshots of Linton's comment spread rapidly on social media, prompting her to make her Instagram account private.
"I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did."
In a phone interview with The New York Times, Miller said she didn't understand why Linton had felt the need to list the brands she was wearing in the photo — especially since the state of Kentucky has a high poverty rate — and that she'd been surprised by the actress' response.
If she hadn't made her account private, I would have written back with a very snide Marie Antoinette joke. ... 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 went on to opine that, as a public figure, Linton should know how to respond to criticism better.
It seems like she's been in public life for a long time. ... It just seemed wholly inappropriate.
The couple was traveling to Louisville to push for an overhaul of the tax code — a campaign promise of President Trump, according to The Washington Post. Critics have argued that Trump's plan would amount to a massive cut for the rich, but Mnuchin argued that it would help the middle class. A Treasury Department spokesperson told the paper that the trip was "cleared by appropriate government channels" and that Linton's travel was covered by Mnuchin.