Miller is using her newfound fame to raise money for a friend who recently had a stroke
She says she was "a bit amused & a bit horrified" when she learned Linton had responded to her post
Jennifer Miller says she’s “trying to make good” of her newfound Instagram fame after her exchange with the treasury secretary’s wife went viral.
“It’s given me a chance to have a lot of followers on Instagram who I’ve shared a fundraiser with for a friend of mine who recently had a stroke, and a lot of people are donating to that,” she told CNN’s Pamela Brown.
Miller shot to fame overnight after she commented on an Instagram post by Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, that appeared to tout the couple’s wealth.
Linton’s response was widely criticized and she was forced to issue an apology on Tuesday, calling her actions “inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
Miller said it was the first time she had commented on a post by someone she didn’t know personally, describing it as “a weak moment.”
“I was frustrated already by some stories I had just read about the Secret Service running out of overtime money because of the excesses of the administration’s travel.”
“And then I saw this woman who I didn’t know who she was. I knew who the treasury secretary was, so I assumed it was his wife, getting off of a government plane for what I assumed was a government trip and basically advertising for all of these European, you know, high-end brands that your average person couldn’t afford, especially anyone in Kentucky where they were visiting, one of the poorest states in our country,” she said.
Miller, a mother of three from Oregon, said she only knew Linton had replied after “the whole world” kept texting her.
“Once I found out about the response, I was a little bit amused and a little bit horrified, but mostly just confused as to why she would take the time or effort or energy to put together such a response,” she said.
“It was deplorable what she wrote in the first place and then her response was even worse, because if anyone is out of touch it is certainly the person using taxpayer money to go on day trips to visit Fort Knox.”
“If I had any respect for her, it probably would have been hurtful, because she was very condescending and very – she made a lot of assumptions about me and my husband and my life and my family,” Miller added.
Linton was on an official trip to Kentucky with her husband, who was there to discuss tax reform with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and visit Fort Knox.
Reached for comment, a Treasury spokesperson said: “The Mnuchins are reimbursing the government for her travel, and she does not receive compensation for products she mentions.”
Miller described that as “a good outcome.”
“I’m glad they are reimbursing all of us, the government, the taxpayers for this trip that she used to advertise for brands that, I don’t know, if her friends own them or what.”