“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive,” Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary and Hollywood producer Steve Mnuchin, said this afternoon in a statement. She was apologizing for her gone-viral “Let Them Eat Cake” Instagram moment that tore up today’s TV news turf.
In addition to her clenched-teeth statement, the Treasury Department says the Mnuchins have promised to reimburse the cost of her trip to Kentucky and assure that Linton was not compensated by the designers for plugging her outfit with a flurry of hashtags.
In its coverage of the Linton fracas, CNN showed a clip of her dressed as Marie Antoinette in a 2007 episode of CBS’ CSI: NY, playing a French tutor dressed as Marie Antoinette who meets an untimely end in a gag guillotine at a costume party.
But Linton’s latest Tumbril Moment took place Monday, when she posted to Instagram a photo of herself exiting a government plane for what she describe as:
#daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful#countryside #rolandmouret pants, #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf, #valentinorockstudheels, #valentino #usa
Kentucky has the fifth-highest poverty rate in the country, CNN noted while estimating the cost of Linton’s outfit in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The photo raised the eyebrow at Washington Post, which pointed out that government planes typically are not used for this sort of domestic travel. Linton, who in May announced she had been named CEO of Dune Entertainment when then-fiance Mnuchin took the Treasury post, and her husband had flown to Kentucky as part of his campaign to pursuade Congress to agree to a tax-code overhaul that Dems charge will be a windfall for rich folk.
Where Linton really went wrong was when she blasted a lengthy condescending response to an Oregon mother of three who had said of the photo: “glad we could pay for your little getaway #deplorable.” Linton called the woman “adorably out of touch, suggesting she “chill out” and go watch the new Game of Thrones, and sniffed:
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.
Media reaction came quick; MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said it best:
The Greek chorus included: