It’s no secret that Donald Trump and Republican Party Senate leader Mitch McConnell no longer see eye to eye — the men often spar publicly. However, the former president’s latest attacks hit far below the belt and have been directed at McConnell’s wife, former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who was a part of his administration.
After listening to her former boss call her “Coco Chow” and McConnell’s “China-loving wife,” Chao, who immigrated from Taiwan as a child, has decided to speak up about Donald Trump’s racist rants. “When I was young, some people deliberately misspelled or mispronounced my name. Asian Americans have worked hard to change that experience for the next generation,” Chao said in a statement to Politico. “He doesn’t seem to understand that, which says a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.”
In an era where anti-Asian rhetoric has been on the rise with the recent mass shootings and Donald Trump’s “China virus” speeches during the pandemic, Chao’s voice is an important one to listen to. She’s received very little support from other members of the Republican Party, who let the former president freely speak without consequence no matter how damaging his words are. Florida Sen. Rick Scott has only meekly said, “It’s never, ever OK to be a racist,” after one of Donald Trump’s Truth Social attacks against Chao. He told CNN in October, “I think you always have to be careful; you know if you’re in the public eye … how you say things. You want to make sure you’re inclusive.” Donald Trump’s name is never mentioned or called out for his harmful words.
Chao stood by Donald Trump during his tumultuous administration and only broke ties with him after the Jan. 6 insurrection, saying in her resignation letter that the events “deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.” That’s when Donald Trump’s attacks against her escalated, but she has sat back in silence because she feels the news cycle feeds his ego. Chao has had enough and calling out Donald Trump was her plea to not only get him to stop, but for the GOP to step up and support the Asian-American community.
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