Editor’s note. This article has been updated to include comment from a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump.
Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao fired back at former President Donald Trump over attacks posted on Truth Social that misspelled her name, Politico reported Wednesday.
“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, according 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.” (RELATED: McConnell Criticizes Trump Over Senate Losses, Says His ‘Political Clout Has Diminished’)
Trump targeted Chao in posts on Truth Social as part of a feud with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader and Chao’s husband, particularly after McConnell helped pass a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill following Republicans underperforming expectations of a “red wave” in the 2022 midterm and the riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump called for McConnell to be primaried in the 2026 Senate elections on Jan. 9.
Politico published the report days after a pair of mass shootings in California, one at a Monterey Park dance studio celebrating the lunar new year and another in Half Moon Bay, left at least 18 dead.
Chao served as Secretary of Transportation in the Trump administration until she resigned the day after the riot at the Capitol. She previously served as Secretary of Labor in the George W. Bush administration, and held positions in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan administrations.
“The attacks against Elaine Chao are really puzzling given that she did really good work in his administration and accomplished a lot and benefited his own presidency,” Lanhee Chen, who ran for controller in California in 2022, told Politico.
“People should stop feigning outrage and engaging in controversies that exist only in their heads,” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “What’s actually concerning is her family’s deeply troubling ties to Communist China, which has undermined American economic and national security.”
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