Former U.S. President Donald Trump attacked his former transportation secretary on social media, calling Elaine Chao “crazy” and saying she is trying to bolster her net worth by getting “rich on China.”
The name-calling came as Trump criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), Chao’s husband, in a Truth Social post on Saturday, Aug. 20. McConnell said that Republicans would have a tough time flipping the Senate during midterm elections because of “candidate quality.”
“Why do Republican senators allow a broken-down hack politician, Mitch McConnell, to openly disparage hardworking Republican candidates for the United States Senate?” Trump wrote in the post. “This is such an affront to honor and to leadership. He should spend more time (and money!) helping them get elected, and less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich on China!”
Elaine Chao and Mitch McConnell have both expressed support for Trump in the past.
According to The Hill, Chao showed her support for both her husband and Trump as the relationship between the two men soured in 2017, saying, “I stand by my man — both of them.” (That said, Chao resigned as transportation secretary following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.)
McConnell, meanwhile, said in April he’d support Trump if the former president became the Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential race.
But McConnell apparently angered Trump on Thursday, Aug. 18, with his comments about the midterms. “I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” the senator from Kentucky said, per The Washington Post. “Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, [and] candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
Chao has a reported net worth of $30 million.
Earlier in her career, Chao worked as Deputy Administrator of the Maritime Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission, and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Her father founded the Foremost Group, a shipping company her sister currently leads as CEO, according to The Hill. In March 2021, a report from the Transportation Department’s inspector general announced findings that Chao used her position and resources as transportation secretary to help her family’s business, potentially violating federal ethics laws, though the Department of Justice declined to open an investigation, per NPR. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Chao’s net worth is $30 million.
Businesswoman, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
Net worth: $30 million (reported)
Elaine Chao is a businesswoman who served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation under former U.S. President Donald Trump and as U.S. Secretary of Labor under former U.S. President George W. Bush.
Birthdate: March 26, 1953
Birthplace: Taipei, Taiwan
Parents: Dr. James S.C. Chao, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao (deceased)
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke, MBA from Harvard University
Spouse: Mitch McConnell (m. 1993)