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U.S. Treasury secretary's wife apologises for Instagram sniping
August 22, 2017 / 7:12 PM / a month ago

U.S. Treasury secretary's wife apologises for Instagram sniping

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton arrive on the Marine One helicopter with President Donald Trump aboard the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford for its commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. July 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

(Reuters) - The wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Tuesday apologised for sniping at a critic on social media site Instagram who called her “deplorable” for a post highlighting her expensive clothing as she exited a government plane.

The flap erupted after Mnuchin’s wife, Scottish-born actress Louise Linton, posted a photo of herself emerging from the aircraft wearing a white outfit and sunglasses, using the hashtags “#tomford,” “#hermesscarf” and “#valentino,” according to images of the Monday evening post on social media.

In her initially vitriolic response to the “deplorable” criticism, Linton had lashed out about how much she and her husband contribute to the economy and pay in taxes.

On Tuesday, she scrolled back.

“I apologise for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive,” Linton said in a statement released through a publicist.

Linton has since made her Instagram account private.

Jenni Miller, who identified herself as a mother of three from Portland, Oregon, had said of Linton’s original post on Instagram: “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.”

FILE PHOTO: US Treasury Secretary nominee Stephen Mnuchin and fiancee Louise Linton arrive for the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump at the US Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool/File Photo

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her unsuccessful presidential run that some of U.S. President Donald Trump’s supporters were a “basket of deplorables.”

Linton shot back at Miller.

“Do you think the US government paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol,” she said, according to images of the response posted online. “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.”

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrives with his fiance Louise Linton at hearing on Domestic and International Policy Update before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

The U.S. Treasury did not respond to requests for comment.

The high-end fashions Linton called out in her post carry hefty price tags, with Hermes scarves retailing from $300 (233.95 pounds) to more than $2,300.

Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive and Hollywood film financier.

Linton has been at the centre of controversy before. Last year she withdrew a self-published book in which she claimed to have been caught up in violence in Zambia. African leaders and aid workers said the book was filled with factual errors.

Trump ran on a populist campaign platform, vowing to improve the lives of working Americans and has surrounded himself with a cabinet heavy on corporate titans, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp, and financier Wilbur Ross, now the commerce secretary.

Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Additional reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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