WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: (Exclusive Coverage) (L-R) First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Louise Linton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Second Lady Karen Pence pose at the wedding of Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton on June 24, 2017 at Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. Louise Linton is wearing a custom Ines DiSanto gown with wedding ring and earrings by Martin Katz.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for LS)
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for LS
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: (Exclusive Coverage) (L-R) First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Louise Linton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Second Lady Karen Pence pose at the wedding of Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton on June 24, 2017 at Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. Louise Linton is wearing a custom Ines DiSanto gown with wedding ring and earrings by Martin Katz. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for LS)
Now playing
01:22
Mnuchin's wife goes on tirade on Instagram
Now playing
02:20
Mnuchin responds to viral money photos
Getty Images
Now playing
01:03
Steve Mnuchin in 90 seconds
Now playing
02:12
Mnuchcin says there will be Russian sanctions
CNN
Now playing
01:00
Mnuchin: No indication Trump will fire Mueller
From Instagram
Now playing
02:04
Treasury secretary's wife apologizes for rant
Now playing
01:00
Woman mocked by Mnuchin's wife responds
From instagram
Now playing
03:45
Ethics questions swirl around Mnuchin's trip
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19:  Treasury Secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, testifies during his Senate Finance committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mnuchin was nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to become the next Treasury Secretary.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Treasury Secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, testifies during his Senate Finance committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mnuchin was nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to become the next Treasury Secretary. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:10
Classmates to Mnuchin: Resign immediately
CNN
Now playing
00:50
Steven Mnuchin: Taxes will go up for the rich
United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks at a White House press briefing.
CNN
United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks at a White House press briefing.
Now playing
02:14
Tempers flare at Mnuchin hearing
Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at an event at the Vestavia Hills Public library, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. According to a Thursday, Nov. 9 Washington Post story an Alabama woman said Moore made inappropriate advances and had sexual contact with her when she was 14. Moore has denied the allegations. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at an event at the Vestavia Hills Public library, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. According to a Thursday, Nov. 9 Washington Post story an Alabama woman said Moore made inappropriate advances and had sexual contact with her when she was 14. Moore has denied the allegations. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Now playing
00:57
Mnuchin: people should investigate Roy Moore
Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin waits after a meeting with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Capitol Hill December 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin waits after a meeting with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Capitol Hill December 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:14
Steve Mnuchin under fire for Lego movie plug
Now playing
01:57
Steven Mnuchin sworn in as treasury secretary
Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. Mnuchin built his reputation and his fortune as a savvy Wall Street investor but critics charge that he profited from thousands of home foreclosures as the chief of a sub-prime mortgage lender during the housing collapse.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. Mnuchin built his reputation and his fortune as a savvy Wall Street investor but critics charge that he profited from thousands of home foreclosures as the chief of a sub-prime mortgage lender during the housing collapse.
Now playing
03:09
Senate grills Treasury pick on foreclosures
CNN
Now playing
01:51
Mnuchin: NFL players can protest off the field
CNN —  

Louise Linton may be the most honest person in Washington. Ask her if she’s ready to leave town after a rocky start and she’ll say no – she’s just finished decorating her house.

Louise Linton, the wife of U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, in the March issue of ELLE.
Courtesy Marc Hom/Elle Magazine
Louise Linton, the wife of U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, in the March issue of ELLE.

The wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is actually just like the rest of us, if we’re to believe the secretary.

“She loves gadgets and has a bird feeder in the backyard,” says Mnuchin in ELLE magazine, which profiles Linton for its March issue.

Mnuchin also says Linton has “humility,” which is an essential point, since Linton first burst onto the public radar with an Instagram gaffe for the history books. Not only did she emerge from a government jet in designer clothes (whose labels she initially tagged in her photo) she got into a spat with a commenter who questioned whether such a display of wealth was appropriate. Linton was dragged through the social media mud. She’s since apologized, but she still regrets how she handled it.

“I was so stupid. I wish I could take it back,” Linton tells ELLE. “I wasn’t thinking about who I am. I wasn’t thinking, I am the wife of this person and thus I should act like the wife of this person.”

Louise Linton/Instagram

How exactly Linton has curbed her lifestyle to adjust to being the spouse of a Cabinet member is difficult to determine from this glossy feature, for which Linton, a Scottish native who lived for several years in Hollywood, poses in a white turtleneck sweater and little else, save a pair of $700 blue suede Christian Louboutin pumps.

She calls SoulCycle, the spinning studio which peddles cardio and feel-goodness, along with $100 leggings and $50 beanies (which Linton is wearing during her interview) her “temple,” and she likes to listen to jazz music in her $12.6 million D.C. mansion, when she’s not at the couple’s Upper East Side Manhattan apartment or the couple’s Los Angeles abode.

An image from the Elle profile on Linton.
Courtesy Marc Hom/Elle Magazine
An image from the Elle profile on Linton.

But that Linton’s life now falls under the particularly harsh microscope of Washington just because of who she married, perhaps shouldn’t disqualify her as being able to live the posh life she has become adapted to. That she fell in love with Mnuchin (“he’s ice, I’m fire,” she tells ELLE), brings her through a fourth dimension of sorts, a place of newness previously unfamiliar to Linton, an actress and film producer.

“When you get off the plane in Washington, nobody says, ‘Here’s a handbook of dos and don’ts now that you’re in this position. I wish they did,” she tells ELLE. “There’s a whole different set of rules.” Linton admits she’s not into politics, but her exposure to the Trump administration has been positive – she even gives a shout-out to Ivanka Trump’s shoe line: “They’re incredible.”

“I’m just a regular girl, and I’m not perfect, but I’m trying my best,” she says in the magazine. “Maybe I should wear that on a T-shirt and Instagram that. And then on the back it should say …’I’m so sorry.’”

But, should she be? Linton has become one of the most controversial women in Washington, a so-good-you-love-to-hate-her character created by the over-the-top brand of gauche she wears with an almost refreshing cluelessness. One thing you couldn’t fault Linton for is her unabashed honesty.

Asked if she would want to leave Washington, should the Trump administration become too troubled or volatile for her husband, Linton doesn’t respond with a statement of party conviction for a difficult job being done on behalf of the American people.

Rather, she wouldn’t want to go, because “I just finished decorating my house.”

She didn’t take off those opera-length $650 black gloves while posing holding a sheet of money at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in November not because they might seem a bit much for a day trip to a government building, but because “it was kind of cold in the bureau.” (That outfit, by the way, remains hanging in her closet, but Linton hopes eventually enough time will pass and she can wear it again, adding, “I really liked it.”)

Linton admits her bevy of faux pas, intentional or not, ultimately led her to consult a Washington protocol expert.

“It’s actually really a fascinating world. The world of political etiquette. For example, gift giving. You’re not allowed to give gifts, and people aren’t allowed to give us gifts. Undue influence. Obviously we both are ethical and good people and we don’t want to mess up,” she tells ELLE, ironically unaware that she in some ways already has. “I’m trying and I’m learning,” Linton adds.

Mnuchin, for one, tells ELLE that he loves his wife unconditionally, pricey shopping habits included. “I think social media has made her misunderstood and she is not at all the person that has been portrayed. She has a huge heart, is sensitive, deeply compassionate, and kind. … She’s an incredibly warm and loving person.”

So while the rest of the country might still be coming to terms with Linton’s unique display of excess, to Mnuchin she’s very much one half of a regular Cabinet couple in the era of Trump. “[Mnuchin will] say, ‘Okay, honey, maybe we don’t do this,‘“Linton says, “but he’s never harsh or critical, and he sees the humanity in me.”