During an interview with CNN host Kaitlan Collins, Elaine Chao—best known as former Republican President Donald Trump's Transportation Secretary and for being the wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—criticized media outlets for publicizing Trump's latest racist taunt against her.
Chao said Trump's behavior is designed to "get a rise out of us," adding Trump—who has repeatedly referred to her using anti-Asian racist slurs—"says all sorts of outrageous things, and I don’t make a point of answering any one of them.”
You can hear what she said in the video below.
“I think it’s very helpful if the media does not repeat that racist tweet. 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.”
"He’s trying to get a rise out of us. He says all sorts of outrageous things, and I don’t make a point of answering any one of them.”
Chao's appearance on CNN came after Trump lashed out at McConnell over Congress' recent passage of a spending bill that will keep the federal government running until September 2023.
Both chambers of Congress approved the nearly $1.7 trillion bill, which averted a government shutdown before the holiday recess. The legislation was particularly controversial among conservatives because though it includes $858 billion for defense funding and $772 billion for non-defense domestic programs, it included $45 billion in aid for Ukraine.
The bill had bipartisan support and McConnell himself was among the 18 Senate Republicans who voted in favor of it. McConnell said in a statement to reporters last week that Republicans "would have handled the appropriations process differently" if they had control of the chamber but defended these votes "given the reality of where we stand today."
But an angry Trump accused McConnell of giving into the demands of "Marxist Democrats" and proceeded to denigrate Chao, who is Chinese, when he, writing on his troubled social media platform Truth Social, said that the bill is a "massive giveaway & capitulation to CHINA" as well as Chao.
Many concurred with Chao's assessment and offered further criticisms of Trump's behavior.
However, others pointed out that Trump's history of racism is not a secret—and that Chao worked for him anyway.
Trump has held a grudge against Chao for some time.
Chao served as Trump's Secretary of Transportation until she became one of the first members of his cabinet to resign following the January 6 insurrection, the day a mob of Trump's supporters attacked the nation's seat of government on the false premise the 2020 election had been stolen.
This is at least the second time in the last couple of months that Trump has attacked Chao, writing last month that McConnell "blew the Midterms, and everyone despises him and his otherwise lovely wife, Coco Chow!"
That remark came after the "red wave" Republican legislators and pollsters had anticipated failed to materialize and once Democrats officially secured control of the Senate after their candidates and Nevada and Arizona fended off Trump-backed candidates.
At the time, Trump called the lack of a "red wave" the "fault" of McConnell, whom he accused of "Spending money to defeat great Republican candidates" instead of supporting candidates like Arizona's Blake Masters, a conspiracy theorist backed by German-American billionaire Peter Thiel, who has made substantial donations to American right-wing figures and causes.