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February 13, 2018

Louise Linton has found herself at the center of several angry media frenzies ever since her husband, Steven Mnuchin, joined the Trump administration as Treasury secretary. As one close friend carefully put it to Elle: "Louise was blessed and fortunate enough to be raised in a Scottish castle, and to not understand the reality of some human beings with a different background."

The first scandal came after Linton posted a photo to Instagram of herself on the steps of a government airline with hashtags including #hermesscarf and #valentino. When one commenter wrote, "glad we could pay for your little getaway," Linton replied with a rant that included the mocking questions: "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?" Needless to say, a change was in order — so Linton hired an expert in being unoffensive:

After the Instagram scandal, Linton tried to take her image into her own hands. She reached out to wives of Cabinet members for advice, one of whom referred her to a Washington protocol expert. She is now learning a lot. "It's actually really a fascinating world. The world of political etiquette [...] When I went to the Middle East, they helped me: What is the appropriate thing to wear in Jerusalem? In Saudi Arabia? What's the appropriate way to greet a gentleman in Saudi? What's the appropriate way to greet sheiks or whomever?" [Elle]

As Elle notes, the lessons might all be for nothing "given the volatility of the Trump administration." But the idea of leaving Washington after all her work distresses Linton — "especially because I just finished decorating my house, and I just started making friends in D.C.," she said. Read more about how Linton is adjusting to life under the spotlight at Elle. Jeva Lange