Jan 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Elaine Chao: Trump's remarks say "more about him" than Asian Americans

Elaine Chao speaking.

Elaine Chao. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images for Concordia

Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao responded to former President Trump's latest racist social media post attacking her, saying that his remarks reveal "a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans," Politico reports.

The big picture: Trump in recent months has been on a tirade against Chao and her husband Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has publicly feuded with Trump for years.

Why it matters: Trump's remarks coincided with a spate of mass shootings that have affected the Asian American community.

  • Asian Americans have faced a rise in hate crimes since 2020, when then-President Trump called COVID-19 the "China virus."

Details: Trump suggested Chao may have been involved in President Biden's mishandling of classified documents, which were found at his Delaware home and in a Washington office he used after his time as vice president.

  • Trump said that McConnell, whom he accused of being close with Biden, Democrats and China, gave "them whatever they want."

What she's saying: “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 told Politico.

  • “He doesn’t seem to understand that, which says a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans,” Chao said.

Between the lines: The former secretary of Transportation resigned after the Jan. 6 riot, saying the attack on the Capitol “deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.”

  • Chao was the first Cabinet secretary to resign.

What they're saying: Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement that the former President was not attacking Chao's race, but her family's potential financial conflicts.

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