Before you go to bed tonight, make sure your spotted puppies are safe: Louise Linton is at large.
She is wearing a long black coat and long black leather gloves, her blonde hair tumbling telegenically around her face.
But before she scoops up any Dalmations, she wants your money. Look where the black-gloved hand holds the sheet of dollar bills, obscuring her husband’s hand. Her smile spoke of mischief and covetousness—the cat that got the cream and a lot of dollar bills—as if she was plotting to take the money for herself.
Linton stood next to her husband, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who flashed a goofy smile for Associated Press photographers and held up the money sheet like an autographed movie poster.
The couple had stopped by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on Wednesday to pose with freshly pressed cash that will soon feature Mnuchin’s and U.S Treasurer Jovita Carranza’s signatures.
But the occasion for their visit was overshadowed by two photographs of the multimillionaire couple, with Linton looking like a spoiled child on Christmas morning in the second image. Dollar signs may well have flashed across her eyes.
Linton seems determined to cement her reputation as an archetypal rich bitch and villain in the vein of Cruella de Vil, Alexis Colby, and Leona Helmsley. She’s the Beltway's Marie Antoinette.
We got a good sense of this in August when she Intagrammed a photo of herself in front of a U.S. government plane and hashtagged it with the designer brands she was wearing.
When a woman from Oregon remarked on this ostentatious display of wealth (in front of a government-owned jet, no less), Linton couldn’t resist mocking her for underestimating just how obscenely rich she and her husband are. “Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol.”
If this were a movie, we’d hear Linton cackling maniacally as she hit send. The poor working masses: They know nothing!
Since then, Linton has quickly become one of the most absurd characters in President Trump’s circle—not a small feat given the competition. She’s up there with Trump himself when it comes to being parodied: Even the best actress on SNL would inevitably fail to do her rich-bitch persona justice because she’s too good in the role herself.
She appeared to relish performing this role on Wednesday. Her facial expressions and body language were so over-the-top that you couldn’t help but wonder if she was in on the joke.
She knows how the public views her, and instead of beating a retreat from this image—participating in a bake sale, say, or helping in a soup kitchen—Linton seems to have thought, “Screw that, I’ll confirm all the preconceptions people have of me.” Perhaps she will next play a wicked villain in a British pantomime. Or maybe she has reorganized her wardrobe with “Public Appearances: All Black/Insane Leather Gloves” at the forefront.
Of course, if she is in on the joke of acting just as people expect her to, that probably makes her one of the most self-aware White House adjuncts too. Bravo is surely dreaming up just the right reality show for her.