It was every little girl’s dream wedding come to life: a groom in a tuxedo, a bride in a ballgown (though one with “a neckline that plunges nearly to the navel,” as the Washington Post couldn’t help but point out), Vice President Mike Pence officiating.
Wait, do most couples not dream of having their hands joined in marriage by a politician who strikes fear into the hearts of LGBTQ people and who once criticized Disney’s Mulan for attempting to indoctrinate children? Well, most couples aren’t as firmly ensconced in Trumpland as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, 54, and actress/producer Louise Linton, 36, who tied the knot this past weekend and who will shine for years to come as symbols of love in the time of Trump.
Practically the whole administration cleared their busy schedules of golfing, tweeting, obstructing justice, and dismantling health care to attend the ceremony at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.: the president himself, Melania, Ivanka, Jared, Ben Carson, Sean Spicer, as well as the secretaries of Commerce and Veteran Affairs departments. There were also Wall Street tycoons, probably friends from Mnuchin’s days at Goldman Sachs and as a hedge fund founder. You know, just your average everyday populists who survived the swamp-draining long enough to enjoy the evening's performances by “kilted bagpipers and ballerinas in white tutus,” per CNN.
It’s been quite the whirlwind year for Linton. Born in Scotland, she has acted in small movie and TV roles, but you might know her face best from Mnuchin’s confirmation hearings. Thoughout them she could be seen hovering over his shoulder, limpid micro-expressions of pride, concern, and adoring fascination flickering over her high cheekbones and sparking off her immaculate sweep of Ivanka-blond hair as Mnuchin opined on homeowner loan modifications. After Mnuchin stepped back from his position as CEO of film production company Dune Entertainment (which financed Wonder Woman!) to join Trump’s Cabinet, Linton was named—and then quickly un-named—his replacement.
You might also know Linton for her diamond collection, which she recently showed off in Town & Country. (“You never really own a diamond … You just get to keep it for a while before it begins a new journey with someone else.”) You might also-also know her for her “white savior” memoir In Congo’s Shadow: One Girl’s Perilous Journey to the Heart of Africa (!), which was eviscerated last summer for its inaccuracies and fabrications to the point that she pulled the book from Amazon and the Telegraph retracted and removed its excerpt, though not before passages like the below could find immortality online.
I know that the skinny white girl once so incongruous in Africa still lives on inside me. Even in this world where I’m supposed to belong, I still sometimes feel out of place. Whenever that happens, though, I try to remember a smiling gap-toothed child with HIV whose greatest joy was to sit on my lap and drink from a bottle of Coca-Cola.
I wonder if Linton invited that boy to experience possibly greater joys at her wedding! The elegant affair elicited the president’s biggest smile (previously seen when Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent visited the Oval Office), the smile Trump wears when hosting celebrities and lavish events inside his Mar-A-Lago of the mind. Here’s to a lifetime of smiles for the new couple—may they find a happiness as lasting as the joy that comes from foreclosing on tens of thousands of reverse mortgages in the wake of a financial crisis.