If Louise Linton hoped to avoid future criticism for her luxury lifestyle, well, better luck next year. While touring the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, the Scottish actress posed with her husband, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, while holding a sheet of new $1 bills. The photograph was meant to celebrate the first time the signatures of Mnuchin and Treasurer Jovita Carranza appear on the bills, which are to enter circulation next month, reports CNN Money. But social media users couldn’t help but interpret it as the newlyweds continuing to flaunt their wealth—even if they were holding only $50—given the scandal over an Instagram photo that erupted in August and saw Linton likened to Marie Antoinette, per the Washington Post.
The Instagram photo showed the couple leaving a government jet, Linton in head-to-toe designer clothes. When a user criticized the photo, Linton snapped back, but later apologized for being "condescending" and referred to the controversy as a wake-up call. Yet this latest photo, showing Linton in black gloves extending past her elbow, "is not going to help her reputation for being ostentatious," notes Slate, while the Post describes Linton as "(clasping) the sheet of money the way a royal might hold her hand to be kissed." "Why do Treasury Sec Mnuchin and his wife insist on posing for photos that make them look like Bond villains?" writes CNBC's Christina Wilkie. "Only way this could be worse would be if Linton and Mnuchin were lighting cigars with flaming dollar bills," adds writer James Surowiecki, per the Post. "Picking out wallpaper for the cognac-swirling room," Andy Richter captions the photo on Twitter.