U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Flattered by Memes Comparing Him to a James Bond Villain

A photo of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife posing with a sheet of new $1 bills — the first notes bearing his signature — prompted people to poke fun at them online last week

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, and his wife Louise Linton, hold up a sheet of new $1 bills, the first currency notes bearing his and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza's signatures, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

A photo of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife posing with a sheet of new $1 bills — the first notes bearing his signature — prompted people to poke fun at them online last week.

The photo shows Mnuchin holding the sheet of money as his wife Louise Linton stands behind him, her gloved hands touching a corner.

Some remarked that the pair resembled villains from the James Bond movie franchise. Others used the image to mock the Republican tax plan, which critics say would mostly benefit high earners and corporations. Mnuchin responded to the mini-controversy on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace while plugging the Trump administration's tax bill. 

"I heard that. I never thought I'd be quoted is looking like villains from the James Bond. I guess I should take that as a compliment that I look like a villain in a great, successful James Bond movie."

Mnuchin added, "I didn't realize that the pictures were public and going on the Internet and viral." However, the AP photographer who took the photo refuted that claim on CNN, saying, "I think it was pretty obvious it was a media photo op.”

The pair prompted a public outcry this summer after revelations he requested a military jet to fly them to their European honeymoon. It never happened, but the department launched a review of Mnuchin’s use of government aircraft.