Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asked media outlets Thursday not to repeat a “racist” comment made repeatedly about her by her onetime boss, former President Donald Trump.
“I think it is very helpful if the media does not repeat that racist tweet,” Chao, who was born in Taiwan and is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told “CNN This Morning.”
“If it were the n-word, or any other word, the media would not repeat it,’ added Chao, 69. “But the media continuously repeats his racist taunt. And so, he’s trying to get a rise out of us. He says all sorts of outrageous things, and I don’t make a point of answering any one of them.”
CNN co-host Kaitlan Collins pointed out in response that she had “made a point of not saying” the slur out loud when asking the question but wanted to allow Chao a chance to respond to the 76-year-old former president.
In a Wednesday posting spree on his Truth Social platform, Trump referred to McConnell’s spouse as his “China loving wife” before adding “Coco” to a different spelling of Chao’s last name — a formulation he has used before to mock his former Cabinet appointee.
On Monday, the former president suggested that congressional Democrats “must have something really big on Mitch McConnell” in order for him to support the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill which passed Congress last week.
“It is also a massive giveaway & capitulation to CHINA,” Trump added, “making [Chao] so happy!”
Trump previously hit out at McConnell and Chao in August after the Republican Senate leader disparaged the “quality” of Trump-backed GOP candidates.
The former president also accused Chao of being “crazy” and enriching her family through her work in the federal government.
“Why do Republicans Senators allow a broken down hack politician, Mitch McConnell, to openly disparage hard working Republican candidates for the United States Senate,” the former president said.
“This is such an affront to honor and to leadership,” he added. “He should spend more time (and money!) helping them get elected, and less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich on China!”
Trump doubled down on his tough talk in October, saying on Truth Social that McConnell had a “death wish” and that he and other Republicans had helped pass disastrous Democrat-backed bills through the Senate.
“Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?” he said, before race-baiting Chao again.
“In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise [sic] from his China loving wife”.
McConnell and 18 other GOP senators voted for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill last year, but did not approve any major legislative packages in 2022 besides the federal omnibus bill in December.
Chao was one of the longest-serving members of Trump’s Cabinet before resigning five days after last year’s Capitol riot.