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In Rare Rebuke, Elaine Chao denounces Trump’s anti-Asian attacks

Former US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has spoken out against Donald Trump following repeated racist attacks against her.

“When I was young, some people would misspell or mispronounce my name. Asian Americans have worked hard to change this experience for the next generation,” Chao said in a statement to Politico. “He doesn’t seem to get it, which says a lot more about him than Asian Americans.”

Chao, who served under Trump, has previously been reserved in her criticism of the former president, who has repeatedly mocked Chao and her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Trump referred to Taiwan-born Chao as McConnell’s “China-loving wife,” among other derogatory terms Chao asked the media not to use.

Trump used a racist epithet to describe Chao earlier this week as he concocted a mix of conspiracy theories to attack her and her husband.

Chao “has anything to do with Joe Biden’s confidential documents sent to and stored in Chinatown?” she asked in a Truth Social post. “Her husband, Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and of course China. Give everyone everything they want!

The post came amid a spate of mass shootings targeting Asian-American communities in California and an increase in anti-Asian discrimination and violence linked to the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, 11 people were killed in Monterey Park during Lunar New Year celebrations. On Monday, seven more people were killed in Half Moon Bay.

Chao has called Trump’s comments racist in the past, but has not stopped short of condemning them. “He’s trying to piss us off. He says all kinds of outrageous things and I don’t like to respond to any of them,” he said in an interview last month. McConnell also largely declined to comment on Trump’s jabs at his wife.

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