Former Transporation Secretary Elaine Chao fired back this week at Donald Trump following repeated racist attacks from the former president about her Chinese ancestry.
As AsAmNews previously reported, Trump called Chao “Coco Chao” and Mitch McConnell’s “China-loving wife” repeatedly in recent months after the GOP Senate leader criticized the quality of the candidate’s Trump endorsed going into the 2022 midterms.
Up to now, Chao has declined to speak publicly about Trump’s name-calling and her husband has also sat quietly on the sidelines fearful of offending Trump supporters. She broke her silence with this statement to Politico.
“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. He doesn’t seem to understand that” Chao said.
The discord between Trump and Chao goes back to the January 6 Capitol riots. She became the first cabinet official to resign over Trump’s role in that 2021 uprising in Washington. Her resignation was largely symbolic given that it happened two weeks before President Biden would be sworn in to replace the ousted president. Yet it riled Trump who has a history of retaliating against anyone who crosses him.
Chao implied to Politico the former President has a whole lot of learning to do.
She says his comments say “a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.”
According to NBC News, Trump has ramped up his anti-Asian rhetoric following his announcement he would run for President in 2024. Chao’s comment comes in the wake of two high-profile mass shootings in California involving the Asian American community.
Her comments are not likely to dissuade Trump loyalists from supporting him nor are they likely to alter Trump’s behavior.
His spokesman defended Trump’s attacks as not racist, but more against Chao’s business ties.
“People should stop feigning outrage and engaging in controversies that exist only in their heads,” Steven Cheung said. “What’s actually concerning is her family’s deeply troubling ties to Communist China, which has undermined American economic and national security.”
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