Former transportation secretary Elaine Chao fired back at former President Trump for his racist remarks about her  — insisting his attacks reveal “a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.”

Chao, 69 — who has been frequently been referred to by the former president as “Coco Chow” — issued the rare rebuke of the former president on Tuesday.

“When I was young, some people deliberately misspelled or mispronounced my name,” Chao, who was born in Taiwan, said in a statement to Politico. “Asian Americans have worked hard to change that experience for the next generation.

“He doesn’t seem to understand that, which says a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans,” she continued.

The missive comes after Trump taunted Chao on Monday with the racist nickname as he accused her and her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of being linked to President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.

Trump Truth social post from December
The former president has long made racist commentary about Chao, often referring to her as “Chow Chow’ or Mitch McConnell’s “China-loving wife.”

“Does Coco Chow have anything to do with Joe Biden’s Classified Documents being sent and stored in Chinatown?” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and , of course, China.”

Chao immigrated to America with her family when she was 8 years old and became a naturalized citizen at 19.

Chao served as Trump’s transportation secretary all four years of his presidency before quitting after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol carried out by an angry and destructive mob of his supporters.

Upon her resignation, she noted that the attack, “deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.”

Late last month, Chao urged the media not to repeat comments made repeatedly about her by her former boss.

Elaine Chao
Chao has rarely commented on the former president’s persistent remarks about her, but urged the media last month to not repeat his comments.
Getty Images for Concordia

“If it were the n-word, or any other word, the media would not repeat it,” she added. “But the media continuously repeats his racist taunt. And so, 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.”

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Politico that the former president’s criticism of Chao was related to her family’s potential financial conflicts, not race.

“People should stop feigning outrage and engaging in controversies that exist only in their heads,” Cheung said. “What’s actually concerning is her family’s deeply troubling ties to Communist China, which has undermined American economic and national security.”

Elaine Chao
Chao immigrated to America with her family from Taiwan when she was just 8-years-old.

An inspector general report made no formal findings of ethics violations involving her family’s shipping business while she was in office.


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