US treasury secretary's wife Louise Linton is 'super-duper' sorry

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Image caption,
Ms Linton and her husband Steven Mnuchin

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife is trying to win over the American people after being dragged through the social media mud last year.

In a new Elle magazine interview, Louise Linton regrets how she boasted about wealth and belittled a commenter on a now-deleted Instagram post.

"I wasn't thinking about who I am," Ms Linton is quoted as saying. "I was so stupid. I wish I could take it back."

The Scottish-born actress and producer married Mr Mnuchin in June 2017.

In the March issue, she explained: "I wasn't thinking, I am the wife of this person and thus I should act like the wife of this person."

"I felt like the kid on the playground that has been so bullied, and finally you punch back," Ms Linton said.

The Instagram post in question showed Ms Linton exiting a US military plane after an official visit with her husband, after she had tagged the brand names of multiple fashion designers she was wearing.

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When a woman criticised her post, she launched into a paragraph-long reply, which has led her to being dubbed a modern-day Marie Antoinette by some US media outlets.

"Have you given more to the economy than me or my husband?" Ms Linton wrote, before calling the commenter "adorably out of touch".

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When asked if what she thought of the Trump administration's volatility affecting her husband, she said she hated the thought "because I just finished decorating my house" and "started making friends"

Ms Linton, 37, spent part of her childhood living in a castle outside Edinburgh, and was interviewed by Elle at a New York diner, near the Upper Eastside apartment she and her husband own.

She told the journalist she is "super-duper" sorry for all of the missteps in her self-presentation.

Ms Linton's other faux-pas include self-publishing, in 2016, a memoir of her experiences volunteering in Zambia during her gap year, which provoked a huge online backlash as reviews and comments accused her of being patronising, inaccurate and misleading.

More recently, she was ridiculed for wearing elbow-length black leather gloves, while posing with her husband holding a sheet of money at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

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She explained to Elle: "I just didn't bother taking the gloves off because it was kind of cold in the bureau."

She said her husband showed her the social media reaction, including one post comparing her to Darth Vader.

She told Elle Magazine she has now consulted a Washington protocol expert. "It's actually really a fascinating world. The world of political etiquette," she said. "Obviously we both [referencing Mr Mnuchin] are ethical and good people, and we don't want to mess up."

The expert has advised her on how to address ambassadors, greet Saudi sheiks and dress in Jerusalem, among other things.

"I'm just a regular girl, and I'm not perfect, but I'm trying my best," she continued. "Maybe I should wear that on a T-shirt and Instagram that. And then on the back it should say ...'I'm so sorry.'"