Louise Linton is very, very sorry about her social media antics.
In a wide-ranging interview with Elle Magazine Tuesday, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressed tearful remorse over engaging in a seething back-and-forth with an Instagram user who had criticized a post she made that touted her affluence and designer clothing.
“I was so stupid,” the 37-year-old Scottish actress told the magazine about the since-deleted Aug. 21 post, which tagged a string of luxury fashion designers and showed her and her husband exiting a federal airplane after a trip to Kentucky.
An offended Instagram user commented on the post, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.”
To the bewilderment of White House officials, Linton penned a belittling response boasting about her family’s wealth and personal “sacrifice.”
“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?” Linton — whose billionaire husband has been pushing for deep tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy — posted. “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.”
The tone-deaf sentiment set off a political firestorm that culminated in Linton issuing an apology through her publicist and deleting the Instagram post.
On Tuesday, Linton said she wishes she could take it all back.
“I wasn’t thinking about who I am,” she said. “I wasn’t thinking, I am the wife of this person and thus I should act like the wife of this person.”
But Linton’s Instagram back-and-forth was just her first social media snafu.
In November, she became the target of scathing Twitter scorn after she posed with her husband at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, wearing a Bond-villain like sneer and elbow-length black leather gloves while holding a sheet of freshly printed dollar bills.
“Who did it better? Louise Linton or Darth Vader?” one Twitter user posted along with the photo.
But Linton complained Tuesday that she hadn’t removed her gloves because it was cold inside the printing plant.
“I just didn’t bother taking the gloves off because it was kind of cold in the bureau,” she said. “And I didn’t expect that I would be pulled into a picture!”
The wives of Treasury Secretaries are typically far removed from the public eye, but Linton has managed to land in it on a number of occasions, often in the context of her ex-investment banker husband’s extraordinary affluence. Linton conceded that she could’ve been more careful about her social media usage but stressed that she’s constantly learning more about the world of politics.
“It’s actually really a fascinating world, the world of political etiquette,” she said. “For example, gift giving. You’re not allowed to give gifts, and people aren’t allowed to give us gifts. Undue influence. Obviously we both are ethical and good people and we don’t want to mess up.”
“I’m trying and I’m learning,” she added.