Elaine Chao issues rare rebuke of Trump over his racist attacks on her

  • In Politics
  • 2023-01-26 17:42:56Z
  • By NBC News

Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao called out former President Donald Trump amid his racist broadsides aimed at her and his other anti-Asian rhetoric.

Trump, who is ramping up his 2024 presidential campaign, has repeatedly made racist attacks against Chao, who served in his administration, in recent months. Trump's attacks on Chao often involve jabs at her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has drawn Trump's ire since his public condemnation of Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

In a Truth Social post on Monday, Trump tried to baselessly suggest that Chao played a role in the classified documents recently found in President Joe Biden's Delaware home and an office in Washington.

"Does Coco Chow have anything to do with Joe Biden's Classified Documents being sent and stored in Chinatown?" Trump wrote. "Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and, of course, China."

In a statement condemning the former president's attacks that she shared with Politico, Chao, who immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan as a child, spoke out about the racism Asian Americans have faced.

"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. "He doesn't seem to understand that, which says a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans."

Chao has previously avoided responding to Trump's personal attacks on her. In response to a Truth Social post last month in which Trump again used a racial slur against her, Chao said in an interview with CNN that she thought "it would be very helpful if the media does not just repeat that racist tweet."

Chao's latest statement comes in the wake of several high-profile shootings targeting Asian Americans. It also comes as Trump has amplified his anti-Asian rhetoric as he begins his campaign for the 2024 presidential election. Other Republicans, such as Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., have stopped short of condemning Trump's attacks, often equating them to the former president's penchant for using nicknames.

Chao was the first Asian American woman to serve in a presidential Cabinet when she was appointed Labor secretary under the George W. Bush administration. She later served as Transportation secretary for the Trump administration.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com


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