Elaine Chao, former President Trump’s Transportation secretary, is declining to respond to Trump’s latest use of a racist nickname to attack her and urging the media to not repeat it.
Trump on multiple occasions has invoked Chao as he lambastes her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and he did so again on Wednesday evening in a Truth Social post that included a racist nickname for Chao.
“I think it’s very helpful if the media does not repeat that racist tweet,” Chao told Kaitlan Collins on “CNN This Morning.” “I mean, if it were the N-word or any other word, the media would not repeat it. But the media continuously repeats his racist taunt.”
The attack came as part of a post criticizing McConnell for voting for the $1.7 trillion omnibus package to fund the government into next year.
“Something is going on with Mitch McConnell and all of the terrible and virtually automatic ‘surrenders’ he makes to the Marxist Democrats, like on the $1.7 Trillion ‘Ominous’ Bill. Could have killed it using the Debt Ceiling, or made it MUCH better in the Republican House,” Trump wrote.
He later in the post invoked the nickname in an apparent attack on Chao’s family’s U.S.-based charter shipping company, which has dealings in China and other countries.
“He’s trying to get a rise out of us,” Chao, who also served as Labor secretary under former President George W. Bush, said on CNN. “He says all sorts of outrageous things, and I don’t make a point of answering any one of them.”
Trump has regularly attacked both Chao and McConnell, whose relationship with Trump soured once the Senate GOP leader referred to Joe Biden as president-elect. It declined further following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
Chao resigned in the days following the attack.
“Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” she wrote in a letter to Transportation Department staff at the time. “As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”