- Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has spoken out against Trump’s attacks on her.
- On Monday, Trump again referred to Chao as “Coco Chow” in an article for Truth Social.
- Chao said the racist moniker says more about Trump “than he will ever say about Asian Americans.”
Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao hit back at former President Donald Trump, who for months has been assignment racist rants about him on social media.
In a statement to Politics On Wednesday, Chao – who served four years in Trump’s cabinet – expressed her displeasure at his derogatory nickname for her.
“When I was young, some people deliberately misspelled or mispronounced my name,” the statement read. “Asian Americans have worked hard to change that experience for the next generation.”
“He doesn’t seem to understand that, which says a lot more about him than he will ever say about Asian Americans,” Chao added.
Chao released his statement after Trump in a Truth Social article on Monday once again referred to by the nickname “Coco Chow”.
“Did Coco Chow have anything to do with sending and storing Joe Biden’s classified documents in Chinatown?” he wrote. “Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats and, of course, China.”
Chao is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump has repeatedly asserted without substantiation that Chao and McConnell are compromised by their ties to China. Trump also has called Chao “crazy” and described her as McConnell’s “loving wife of China”.
Chao had, until now, avoided responding directly to Trump.
“He’s trying to tease us. He says all kinds of outrageous things, and I don’t want to respond to any of them.” she told CNN in December. McConnell previously said he has no response to Trump calling his wife crazy.
It’s unclear why Chao — of all the spouses of Trump’s political enemies — was such a magnet for the former president’s ire, but Chao was the first Trump cabinet member to resign following the Capitol riot.
When approached to comment on Chao, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told Politico, “People should stop feigning outrage and engaging in controversies that only exist in their head.”
Cheung also repeated Trump’s rhetoric on Chao.
“What is actually concerning is his family’s deeply troubling ties to communist China, which have undermined American economic and national security,” Cheung told Politico.
Trump has repeatedly made racist and anti-Asian remarks. He gave COVID-19 the nickname “Kung-Flu” in 2020. His other term for COVID-19, the “Chinese virus”, is still used in the right marginal circles.
Trump’s press office and a representative for Chao did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.