For the majority of former President Donald Trump’s time in office, Elaine Chao served as the Secretary of Transportation. She was nominated by Donald Trump and confirmed, and served relatively uneventfully for nearly four years until she resigned after the January 6 riot, a few days before the end of his presidency. Chao stated at the time that the riot was a “traumatic and entirely avoidable event” that “deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.”
Donald Trump, The Racist?
Donald Trump frequently fired and broke with cabinet secretaries during his term. Still, Chao, who was previously Secretary of Labor in the Bush Administration, remained a reliable member of the cabinet nearly until the end.
Since then, Trump has regularly insulted Chao, usually apropos of nothing. He has given the Taiwanese-American the nickname “Coco Chow” and at other times accused her of being Sen. Mitch McConnell’s “China-loving wife.” Chao’s family immigrated from Taiwan when she was a child, and she has been an American citizen since the 1970s.
Earlier this week, Trump tried to tie Chao to the Biden documents controversy, specifically the report in the Daily Mail last week that documents from the Obama-Biden administration were taken to a storage facility in Washington’s Chinatown for a few months in 2017 until they were moved to the Penn Biden Center offices.
“Does Coco Chow have anything to do with Joe Biden’s Classified Documents being sent and stored in Chinatown?” Trump posted on Truth Social Monday. “Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and, of course, China. He gives them all whatever they want!”
There’s no reason to believe that the sitting Secretary of Transportation would have any role in the placement of documents from the previous administration. Chao, of course, is not Chinese, and documents being kept in Chinatown have nothing to do with her.
Chao has not spoken in response to the attacks, nor did she ever say anything when Trump used language considered offensive to Asians and Asian Americans throughout his presidency. But she has now spoken out about the comments.
“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 in a statement to Politico that was published Wednesday. “He doesn’t seem to understand that, which says a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.”
In late December, appearing on CNN, Chao did address the issue, but less forcefully than in this week’s statement, and was more critical of the media than of Trump.
“I think it’s very helpful if the media does not repeat that racist tweet,” Chao said in the interview, with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “I mean, if it were the n-word or any other word, the media would not repeat it. But the media continually 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.”
Politico noted that this represents a shift from Chao, who has rarely entered the political fray since leaving the Trump Administration more than two years ago, aside from occasional interviews and testimony before the January 6 committee. The statement “suggests that discomfort with Trump’s anti-Asian rhetoric has reached a new level amid several high-profile shootings targeting Asian Americans,” Politico said.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Donald Trump who is himself Asian-American, told the site that Trump, in the social media posts about the former secretary, was referring to Chao’s family’s business dealings.
“People should stop feigning outrage and engaging in controversies that exist only in their heads,” the spokesman told Politico. “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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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
January 26, 2023 at 1:09 pm
Uh, the author didn’t reveal any racism there in the former president’s comments. What kind of a whiney, milque-toast person interprets that comment as racist? Would it be racist to call an elderly back male senator (McConnell is white for reference), an “Old Crow”, as Trump did to McConnell? Come on. Stop with this sad hyper-leftist hypersensitivity.
January 27, 2023 at 9:47 am
Biden has been making racist comments for years and democrats justify it and make excuses for why those comments weren’t racist
January 27, 2023 at 12:37 pm
They have one thing in common, both are corrupt and work for international bankers and against honest every day Americans.
Daniel Diaz de Arce
January 27, 2023 at 2:50 pm
Just another BS article, lacking truth
Todd R. Russell
January 27, 2023 at 6:19 pm
Just your ignorant opinion!
January 28, 2023 at 3:48 am
This article isn’t saying anything new. Everybody knows Trump is and always has been a racist. He doesn’t even try to hide it, so it isn’t news.
January 28, 2023 at 3:48 pm
look at the writer. Would you go hang with this guy?
January 28, 2023 at 5:33 pm
For one, I doubt that – especially in times of anger – there are few or any who have never used a racist word, which is entirely different from being racist in how one treats people through actions. While I know people who have, and they are the least race conscious or racist people in the world. While human nature typically, and no it’s not a good thing, has people when heated and in a dispute, often times resort to an insult that they think will get under the other’s skin most. As my best friend growing up was a black guy, named James, who once got into it with another white guy who we were playing baseball against. And at the end of the verbal dust up, he said, ‘Aww F all you F’in crackers,’ which one could say even included me. However, James was just ticked and letting off steam and that’s all there was to it. When, two, he is among the nicest guys I know, still, as we still keep in touch.
January 29, 2023 at 8:28 am
DONALDO DOES NOT HAVE THE NERVE CELLS TO BE ANYTHIJG-INLI PLAIN LANGUAGE THAT MEANS HE LACKS THE INTELLIGENCE.HE DOES NOT READ OR TRY TO UNDERSTAN ANYTHING,AND WAS LIKE THAT THROUGHT HIS ENTIRE LIFE.IN SUMMARY,IT LOOKS LIKE HE CANNOT THINK
jose arredondo jr
January 29, 2023 at 9:05 am
I AGREE with your comments our elected officials have taken away the peoples Rights mcconnell his reightwing mccarthy Pelosi the trump era MONEY BOUGHT corrupted officials Like sinema in Arizona several Other Democrats and GOPER CORRUPTED took money from gas Pharma Medical BRIBES the trump goper TAX SCAM ever put on middle class Americans We must take back our Laws STOP REELECTINg mcconnel pelosi
January 29, 2023 at 12:42 pm
January 29, 2023 at 12:42 pm
Joe Biden actually supported segregated schools. He is the racist not Trump
Joseph C Moser
January 29, 2023 at 4:39 pm
He is not racist. With the woke everything is now racist.
What a laugh.
January 29, 2023 at 5:01 pm
Has anyone really sat down and thought about the things, especially, that Biden as said about the Republicans, such as: I am giving help to the Black Farmers and White farmers need not apply. Is this racist? and then there are Piggoski, she couldn’t open her mouth without blurting out some racist remard about one republican or another and especially Trump followers. Is that racist? Trump hasn’t ever done anything that was racist, he may say things we don’t like but he tells the facts like they are, facts against Democrats, is that racist?
January 29, 2023 at 5:04 pm
I thought we all were considered racist. How many racist jabs does it take before we don’t care anymore.
Peter C Michel
January 29, 2023 at 5:48 pm
Everyone knows that Trump is not a racist, but their hatred for him overcomes the reality. One only has to look at history to proof that fact. He has many people of color friends and throughout the years, he won many awards from Black Organizations. Some of the friends are very powerful and also rich, such as Oprah. This all changed, when he announced he was running as a republican, from then on the liberal media branded him the devil….so it is not that he is a racist, but a republican, which to the liberals is the same thing.
January 29, 2023 at 7:05 pm
Shriver is himself a racist, he talks like he knows because he is just like Trump. I would not trust either but of the two I trust Trump. No you can sensor me but I expected that because the truth is the truth.
January 30, 2023 at 11:13 am
The author doesn’t seem to have any credentials to be an expert on Trump or politics in general. Seems more like typical unqualified, entitled liberals with a half-baked opinion and an opportunity to spread it.
January 30, 2023 at 2:45 pm
When did Chinese become a race? Isnt it racist to assume all Chinese are Asian? “Journalists” really need to learn the difference between race, nationality, religion and ethnicity.
January 31, 2023 at 3:15 pm
I’m not Trump fan, but he was no racists. Biden is truly a racist. Common Man! You’re writing this crap about the wrong man.
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”
February 1, 2023 at 3:33 pm
If Trump is a racist this article is full of racism. Time to move on folks. America is the least racist nation on earth.Let’s drop the energy in this bad article and move up to a new level. No more judgements. Move on!
February 1, 2023 at 3:45 pm
Obama woke up racism again while in office.
Arthur Blakey II
February 2, 2023 at 12:04 pm
And you just figured that out? Trump has always shown how much of a racist he is.
Guy C Hawkins Jr
February 2, 2023 at 4:04 pm
All you Trump haters…I challenge all you liberals to start watching Newsmax. If it has been cancelled from your service, just download the app. Its free!! It doesn’t cost a thing to just try it. I am convinced that the majority of people in this country only watch MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN. Just try Newsmax for a week. Our country can’t survive much longer if we don’t wake up and make elections that will start to put our country back on track.
February 2, 2023 at 5:35 pm
At times anyone seems to respond to things as they were taught years ago, but that does not mean that they are a rastist, it just means they tend to sometimes replay to something or someone like they were told when they were younger, I,as a youngster heard may things about others, that I never really used but sometimes something you may think is harmless may upset others, it happenes all the time!!!
Nicole Jaqueline Carpenter
February 2, 2023 at 6:26 pm
Where are all the headlines about all the raciest things that Joe Biden says regularly?
I think they are both Biden and trump are trash people! I am so tiered of media’s desperate attempts to slander Trump though, what a waste of everyone’s time! The guy does a great job of slandering himself. How about some current events for news articles?
February 3, 2023 at 1:52 am
Imagine how sick things are when a political stance has to resort to calling anyone who doesn’t agree with them a phobe, or a cist, or a phile? Everything about the Democrats is negative, divisive, and harmful.
February 3, 2023 at 9:46 am
Actually did see something in that article of yours! However, it was not that Trump is a racist, simply, that you are an idiot!
February 11, 2023 at 9:06 pm
Interesting how anyone caan make a bs accusation. Before election, old rev Sharpton and the gang were Trump “friends”. Just donations obviously.
Under Trump african american unemployment dropped, I assume your warped definition is in ref to African americans” and he funded permanently colleges. Under the anti tacist Democrats, they have BLM to help.
So I looked up your staff. 1945 never has an artical published by a minority.
And what about your neighborhood?
I guess my view is you are a racist and should be fired.
I call men by there names.
Trump I noted calls a person by name.
I didnt vote for him, but, he gets a lot of democratic tags for election votes.
Skewing racial vote skews an election. A close race cant be won and its an disturbing trend.
Trump was found innocent by muller but NY and congress just keep investigating him.
Suponeas are the new low cost campaining.
Congress should not be able to perform the duty of a grand jury of citizens. It bypasses person protection of a citizen from false gov charges, per constitution.
Tomorrow you should resign or attack congress overstepping grand jury protection.
I hope naacp reads this.