Louise Linton, Wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Backs Greta Thunberg in Now-Deleted Instagram Post

Louise Linton, the actress and wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, offered support for teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on social media Saturday.

Linton posted the now-deleted Instagram message with a picture showing the 17-year-old Thunberg, who recently spoke to politicians and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland earlier this week. Linton's caption appeared to be a response to her husband's dig at the Swedish climate activist by saying she should study economics before criticizing world leaders on climate change issues.

But Linton's commentary disappeared from the social media network just hours later despite dozens of journalists and Twitter users taking screenshots of the pro-Thunberg post.

"I stand with Greta on this issue," Linton wrote in the Saturday Instagram post. "(I don't have a degree in economics either) We need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels. Keep up the fight @gretathunberg."

Before the post was deleted, Linton had received a deluge of comments thanking her for "standing up" to the Trump administration and critics of climate change reforms.

Linton also posted -- and has not yet removed -- a corresponding IG story in which she responded to a critic who referred to her husband as a "pencil-d**ked man" for criticizing Thunberg on climate change.

Linton's comments followed Mnuchin's own jab made in "jest" toward Thunberg earlier this week.

"Is she the chief economist?" Mnuchin asked of the teenage activist. "After she goes and studies economics in college, she can go back and explain that to us."

Critics blasted Mnuchin's comment, noting that the Trump administration has exploded the U.S. deficit, lifted environmental regulations, and hurt American farmers with the president's ongoing trade war with China.

Thunberg responded directly to Mnuchin's criticism in her own threat of tweets Thursday: "My gap year ends in August, but it doesn't take a college degree in economics to realize that our remaining 1,5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don't add up. So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments."

"It was intended to be said somewhat in jest," Mnuchin said at a Chatham House event in London Saturday. "I commented at the press conference that this was a joke, but it seems to have caught a lot of attention."

Speaking in Davos Tuesday, Thunberg admonished world leaders for doing "basically nothing" to reduce carbon emissions across the globe.

"Pretty much nothing has been done since the global emissions of CO2 has not reduced," Thunberg said. "[I]f you see it from that aspect, what has concretely been done, if you see it from a bigger perspective, basically nothing...it will require much more than this, this is just the very beginning."

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Louise Linton, the actress and producer wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, deleted a Saturday post offering support for teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Louise Linton, Wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Backs Greta Thunberg in Now-Deleted Instagram Post | Politics