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Steve Mnuchin: 'I Didn't Realize' Viral Dollar Bill Photos Would Go Public

A change in the Senate tax plan that would expand a temporary income-tax break for partnerships, limited liability companies and other so-called “pass-through” businesses won the endorsement of a national small-business group. Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reflected on the way he and his wife became viral sensations after recently posing with photos of new dollar bills, acknowledging that he did not know the photographs would go public.

“Let me just say, I was very excited about having my signature on the money, it’s obviously a great privilege and a great honor and it’s something I’m very proud of, being the secretary and I look forward to helping the American people,” Mnuchin told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

“And why, just briefly, did you and your wife decide that you would have fun with the money and take those pictures?” Wallace pressed.

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I didn’t realize the pictures were public and going on the internet and viral,” Mnuchin responded. “But people have a right to do that. People have a right to express what they want. That is the great beauty of social media today; people can say and communicate what they want.”

Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton experienced their latest bout of internet fame Wednesday when pictures of the two of them posing with a sheet of new dollar bills began circulating on the web. Mnuchin and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza, who now have their signatures on the dollar bill, were touring the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Linton became the subject of controversy this past August, after she hashtagged the designer brands she was wearing when she stepped off a government plane in an Instagram post, prompting one fellow user to call her “deplorable.”

Linton responded by calling the woman “adorably out of touch.” “Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours,” she wrote.

Linton subsequently apologized for her statement, calling her comments “inappropriate and highly insensitive.”

The new dollar bill is expected to go into circulation in December.

Mnuchin told Wallace that he had printed his signature on the bill, even though past secretaries had signed the bill, because his previous signature was messy.

“I felt since it was gonna be on the dollar bill forever, I should have a nice clean signature,” he said.

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