Trump's racist comment on Elaine Chao, McConnell's wife, draws criticism from the right

Former President Donald Trump's racist comment about his former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's wife, has drawn sharp criticism from some on the right.

Trump used a racial slur in a post on his Truth Social website Friday, calling Chao McConnell's "China-loving wife, Coco Chow." He also said McConnell had a "death wish" for backing "Democrat-sponsored bills," in the same post.

"This is outrageous, it's beyond the pale, every Republican ought to say so," former McConnell aide Scott Jennings said on CNN.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, a White House communications director during the Trump presidency, tweeted that Trump is "not even trying to hide the racism at this point. Just despicable."

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., addressed Trump's comments by saying, "it is never OK to be racist," but Scott didn’t call Trump out directly.

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"I think you always have to be careful if you're in the public eye, how you say things. You want to make sure you're inclusive," Scott said on CNN on Sunday.

Scott also said, on CBS, that Trump has a "nickname" for everyone. "He gives people nicknames. I'm sure he has a nickname for me. Alright. So you can ask him what he means by his nicknames."

Jennings said he was not satisfied with Scott's comments about the issue.

The Wall Street Journal's opinion page, which leans conservative, weighed in on Sunday, saying that the "death wish," comments were even extreme for Trump and "deserve to be condemned."

According to the Washington Post, Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for Trump, defended Trump through a statement, saying that McConnell "obviously has a political death wish for himself and the Republican Party,"

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Chao: Who is Elaine Chao? Here's what to know about the former Transportation secretary

Chao, who served as Trump's secretary of transportation during his time in the White House, was born in Taiwan. She resigned after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

McConnell's office has not responded to Trump's comments.

Contributing: Louisville Courier Journal

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump's comments on Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell draw fierce criticism