CNN’s Tapper Links Louise Linton Instagram Controversy to Trump

President Trump was renowned for his prolific and infamous use of Twitter to both aid his message and to stir up controversy. But during Tuesday’s The Lead on CNN, host Jake Tapper tried to link someone else’s Instagram controversy to the President. The controversy was sparked by Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who got into a heated exchange over a comment left on an Instagram photo.

In the description of the photo, Linton touted all the designer brands she was wearing while getting off a government plane. One person left a snarky comment about how the tax payers were covering the cost of her trip and Linton appeared to be talking down to the commenter in her response.

According to Tapper, that was somehow Trump’s responsibility because of his 2016 campaign messaging. “One of the things I liked about the Trump campaign was the fact he would talk about the forgotten man and the forgotten woman. That is not that,” he exclaimed to his political panel.

It's absolutely not that. It’s completely anti-everything we heard from then-candidate Trump,” noted CNN Writer Juana Summers. She then claimed it was the only thing people around her were concerned with about despite recent political and world events:

And I think literally everyone I know has been talking about this. They’re not talking about what the President said about what he sees is the path in Afghanistan. They're not talking about this campaign rally that he has in Arizona tonight. They're talking about the swanky designer brands that the wife of a cabinet secretary tagged on Instagram…

“Now, the President has defended hiring a very wealthy commerce secretary and treasurer secretary, saying it's good to have people who are successful in charge of the money in this campaign,” Tapper stated, before quipping about how it was “part of the package” of hiring them.

Also on Tapper’s panel, moral-urchin Paul Begala who joked that Linton deserved a pass for “being married to Steve Mnuchin. God knows she’s suffered an enough, but it’s only been a few months.” He also suggested that Linton should claim her account was hacked by the ghost of businesswoman Leona Helmsley, a.k.a “The Queen of Mean.”

This is what every Democrat’s belief about what Republicans think about us, or about the middle class or about working class,” Begala smeared.

The only person speaking any sense on the panel was Republican Kevin Madden, who told the rest of them that he didn’t “want to overanalyze this either as a larger statement about the Trump administration.”

Madden said it was a lesson for people new to public office and those related or connected to those in public office. “So, I think the greater degree of discretion and restraint when you're on social media is the lesson for a lot of these family members,” he explained.

It’s one thing to discuss Linton’s Instagram post and her relation to the Treasury Secretary. But it’s another to try and rope the President into it. Trump appointed her husband, not her, to a position in the government. So her actions bear little or no weight on Trump’s shoulders.

Transcript below:

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CNN
The Lead
August 22, 2017
4:43:50 PM Eastern

(…)

JAKE TAPPER: Let me bring back my political panel to discuss this and much more. One of the things I liked about the Trump campaign was the fact he would talk about the forgotten man and the forgotten woman. That is not that!

JUANA SUMMERS: It's absolutely not that. It’s completely anti-everything we heard from then-candidate Trump. And I think literally everyone I know has been talking about this. They’re not talking about what the President said about what he sees is the path in Afghanistan. They're not talking about this campaign rally that he has in Arizona tonight. They're talking about the swanky designer brands that the wife of a cabinet secretary tagged on Instagram and her back and forth with just an average woman who happened to comment on Instagram. This is the textbook definition of a self-controversy. I don't think it will necessarily go anywhere, but it's a little ridiculous.

TAPPER: Now, the President has defended hiring a very wealthy commerce secretary and treasurer secretary, saying it's good to have people who are successful in charge of the money in this campaign. And maybe perhaps that's part of the package, Kevin?

KEVIN MADDEN: I don't want to overanalyze this either as a larger statement about the Trump administration. I think it actually serves as a lesson for those going into public office and those who are family with those going into public office. You come under an incredible amount of scrutiny. Everything you say, everything you post on social media can become potentially a story. That is unfair, but it is the reality that people have to realize. So I think the greater degree of discretion and restraint when you're on social media is the lesson for a lot of these family members.

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(…)

TAPPER: And we should just say—and I agree with you because there is kind of a concept in politics that civilians are off limits. But Ms. Linton is an actress, she's an author, she’s a very public figure. Her Instagram account was open to everyone. This isn't a matter of people finding this on her private account.

PAUL BEGALA: And I’m still inclined to want to give her a pass, because being married to Steve Mnuchin. God knows she’s suffered an enough, but it’s only been a few months.

[Gasps]

BEGALA: I’m kidding. I will say this though: Maybe she should say her Instagram account was hacked by Leona Helmsley. This is what every Democrat’s belief about what Republicans think about us, or about the middle class or about working class.

(…)

They are two Goldman Sachs guys, two very talented people, Secretary Mnuchin who I just joked about and Gary Cohn the Chairman of the National Economic Council, straight out of Goldman Sachs. They're able people, but his base doesn't like that at all. This could teach them that, right? They could focus on this because it's such a pop culture story.

(…)


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CyberAlerts Labeling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans CNN The Lead Video Kevin Madden Jake Tapper Juana Summers Donald Trump Steve Mnuchin Paul Begala