Elaine Chao responds to Donald Trump’s racist attacks on her

Over the past several months, the leading Republican presidential candidate has launched a series of racist attacks on the wife of the Republican Party’s Senate leader, a woman

who once served in his Cabinet. But while former President Donald Trump’s taunts at Elaine Chao — demeaning her as “Coco Chow” or a variation of Mitch McConnell’s

“China-loving wife” — have been mostly met with silence from fellow GOP officials, the main target of them is now speaking out. “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’s statement is an extremely rare case of the former

Transportation Secretary wading into the political thicket that her former boss has laid around her since the end of his administration. It suggests that discomfort with Trump’s

anti-Asian rhetoric has reached a new level amid several high-profile shootings targeting Asian Americans. On at least a half a dozen occasions, Trump has taken to his

social media platform, Truth Social, to criticize McConnell’s leadership, and to suggest, among other things, that he is conflicted because of his wife’s connection to China. Last

fall, in a message widely viewed by Republicans and Democrats as a threat, he said that McConnell “has a DEATH WISH.”