Treasury Secretary and noted Hollywood producer Steven Mnuchin provoked criticisms from his political opponents after photos surfaced last week of Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton posing with a sheet of newly printed dollar bills bearing Mnuchin’s signature.
Asked by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace what it was like being compared with a bond villain after the photos went viral, Mnuchin said he took it as a compliment.
“I heard that. I never thought I’d be quoted as looking like a villain from the James Bond [movies]. I guess I should take that as a compliment that I look like a villain in a great, successful James Bond movie,” Mnuchin said.
“I was very excited about having my signature on the money and it’s something I’m very proud of being the secretary and helping the American people.”
Mnuchin said he thought nothing of it at the time the photo was taken, saying he didn’t expect it to be so widely shared on the Internet.
“I didn’t realize the pictures were public and going on the internet and viral but people have the right to do that people can do that that’s the great thing about social media today people can say what they want.”
Asked why he chose to print his signature in script instead of using cursive, Mnuchin explained that he felt his ordinary signature was too sloppy to print on US currency.
“I had a very, very messy signature that you could barely read, and I felt that since it’s going to be on the dollar bill forever that I should have a very clean signature,” Mnuchin said.
An Associated Press photographer captured Mnuchin and Linton posing with the sheet of dollar bills - the first to include Mnuchin’s signature - at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing last week, according to Politico.
After photos of the couple posing with the sheet of newly minted $1 bills went viral, twitter users poked fun at the pair's expensive tastes, with one joking they were shopping for 'bathroom mats' and another calling the sheet of bills, 'their new line of luxury toilet paper.'
This isn’t the first time Mnuchin and his wife have been criticized for appearing out-of-touch: The mockery comes just months after Louise Linton was roundly mocked for a tone-deaf Instagram post authored in response to criticisms of her posing next to a taxpayer funded jet.
Before that, the two were cleared after an investigation into whether they timed a flight in another taxpayer funded chartered jet to coincide with the solar eclipse that happened back in August.
The new bills are expected to enter circulation next month.