It started as a routine photo op: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton touring the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing Wednesday to view the first $1 bills bearing Mnuchin’s signature.
It ended in an image that set social media alight: Mnuchin and Linton flashing an uncut sheet of dollar bills for the camera in a manner that some Twitter wags compared to a Hollywood blockbuster.
Others drew attention to Linton’s attire, which one social user compared to Christopher Lloyd’s Judge Doom character in the 1989 movie, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, and the Scotland-born actress Linton have been repeatedly criticized over bad optics. In August, Linton had to apologize for lashing out on Instagram at a woman who criticized her for taking a trip on a government airplane.
On Aug. 21, Linton posted a photo showing her and Mnuchin stepping off the plane, and noted some of the designer clothes she was wearing.
When a user posted, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable,” Linton fired back.
“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?” she asked rhetorically. “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.”
The next day, Linton apologized for her comments, which she called “inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
Mnuchin himself has not escaped scrutiny over his travel. Last month, the Treasury Department’s inspector general found that Mnuchin did not violate any laws by taking seven trips on government planes, but did note that his office had failed to provide proof of why he needed to use the more costly mode of travel.