Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has responded to former President Donald Trump’s attacks on him and his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, by using her achievements as a counterpoint. McConnell defended Chao’s record and praised her as an “outstanding public servant” who was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the U.S. as a child.
Trump Blames McConnell and Chao for GOP Losses
Trump has slammed McConnell and Chao since the 2022 midterms when Republicans lost the House and Senate. Trump accused McConnell of not supporting his false election fraud charges and not blocking President Joe Biden’s certification. Trump also called Chao “weak” and “ineffective” as a cabinet member and accused him of having Chinese ties.
Trump labeled McConnell a “broken old crow” who “lost Kentucky for the Republicans” on Sunday. Trump also said he endorsed and campaigned for McConnell’s 2020 reelection. Trump stated that McConnell and Chao “should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to our country.”
In a Tuesday news conference, McConnell criticized Trump’s assertion that he helped him win 2020. McConnell said, “Yeah, well, I want to thank him for the 15-point margin I had in 2014 as well.” McConnell then presented a statement from U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, who chastised Tucker Carlson for downplaying the January 6 Capitol disturbance, which Trump encouraged.
McConnell defended his wife from Trump’s criticisms and underlined her accomplishments for the country in a Newsweek interview on Wednesday. McConnell called Chao an “outstanding public servant” who held four cabinet roles under four presidents. McConnell said Chao was the longest-serving secretary of transportation and the first Asian American woman in a presidential cabinet.
McConnell also lauded Chao’s narrative as that of an immigrant who acquired English as a second language at eight years old. McConnell claimed Chao’s parents founded a thriving shipping firm that employed thousands of Americans. McConnell said Chao’s family represented the American ideal, and he was pleased with her accomplishments.
McConnell and Chao said they were focused on serving Kentucky and the nation and were unconcerned by Trump’s comments. McConnell said he and Chao were married and dedicated to public service. McConnell and Chao thanked their Republican Party and other supporters.