Former Trump official Elaine Chao called out the former president for calling her “Coco Chow,” hours after Meta announced that his suspension from Facebook and Instagram would be lifted.
Days after two mass shootings of Asian-Americans rocked California, the former Trump administration Transportation Secretary finally spoke up about her old boss’s repeated name calling.
“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 told Politico on Wednesday.
“He doesn’t seem to understand that, which says a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.”
Trump has repeatedly attacked referred to Chao as “Coco Chow,” while leveling attacks against her husband Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“If Republicans are going to fight, we ought to be fighting Mitch McConnell and his domineering, China loving BOSS, I mean wife, Coco Chow,” he posted to Truth Social on Jan. 4.
“The harm they have done to the Republican Party is incalculable. Today, he couldn’t be elected “Dog Catcher” in Kentucky.”
In his most recent jab, he questioned if Chao could have facilitated President Joe Biden’s transfer of classified documents to his Chinatown office in D.C., after serving two terms as President Barack Obama’s Vice President.
“Does Coco Chow have anything to do with Joe Biden’s Classified Documents being sent and stored in Chinatown?” Trump wrote.
“Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and, of course, China. He gives them all whatever they want!”
It’s certainly a total reversal from his comments the day he nominated Chao for Transportation Secretary, after she had faithfully served former President George W. Bush as Labor Secretary.
“Secretary Chao’s extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” Trump commented in 2016.
“She has an amazing life story and has helped countless Americans in her public service career.”
Their relationship may have soured after Chao announced her resignation from the post, five days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“Our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” she wrote.
“As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”
Trump’s spokesman, Steven Cheung, an Asian American, told Politico that the former president’s remarks weren’t racial, but about her family’s financial ties to China.
“People should stop feigning outrage and engaging in controversies that exist only in their heads,” Cheung noted.
“What’s actually concerning is her family’s deeply troubling ties to Communist China, which has undermined American economic and national security.”
Despite Chao’s criticism, Trump scored a major win on Wednesday, when Facebook parent Meta announced that his suspension from the social platform and sibling app Instagram would be lifted in the near future.
Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, said that the company would be ending the suspension of the former president’s accounts “in the upcoming weeks,” and that they have put “guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”
The decision was reportedly made because Trump intends to run in the upcoming 2024 election, and “the public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so thetwittery can make informed choices.”
“As a general rule, we don’t want to get in the way of open, public and democratic debate on Meta’s platforms — especially in the context of elections in democratic societies like the United States,” Clegg wrote.
He noted that the public needed know “the good, the bad and the ugly” things politicians say in order to be able to make educated decisions when casting their ballots.
“But that does not mean there are no limits to what people can say on our platform,” Clegg continued.
“When there is a clear risk of real world harm — a deliberately high bar for Meta to intervene in public discourse — we act.”
He defended suspending Trump in 2021, due to “his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021,” but now that a two-year time period has lapsed, they’ve determined the “risk to public safety” has “sufficiently receded.”
Trump both lauded his own social media platform Truth Social and bashed Meta in a statement on Wednesday.
“FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since “deplatforming” your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account,” he wrote.
“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!”
Meta’s decision to reinstate the former president comes on the heels of Twitter boss Elon Musk’s choice to end the suspension of Trump’s account after a poll of users determined that he should be reinstated in November.