Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has issued a rare response to Donald Trump after his repeated attacks against her with racist undertones.
He's mocked her as Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) “China-loving wife" or intentionally misspelled her name as “Coco Chow." Each time, other Republicans remain silent.
“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.”
Chao had the unique experience of serving in the Trump cabinet at a time when the president attempted to overthrow an election and urged his followers on as they staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. She was one of a few that resigned after Jan. 6. In the year before, Trump spun racist attacks against Asians due to the COVID-19 crisis. He called the virus the "Kung Flu" and his rage led to attacks on Asian Americans across the country.
Chao asked reporters not to amplify the reports and the words, the report said. She restrained from starting a war of words with the king of verbal insults.
Trump spokesperson, Steven Cheung, who is an Asian American, claimed that the insults "China-loving wife" had nothing to do with her race but her family's long-time shipping business that Chao's father began when he came to the United States.
“People should stop feigning outrage and engaging in controversies that exist only in their heads,” Cheung said. “What’s actually concerning is her family’s deeply troubling ties to Communist China, which has undermined American economic and national security.”