Elaine Chao: Women can't let harassment hold them back

Elaine Chao: Women can't let harassment hold them back
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Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoTrump administration cancels 9M for high-speed rail in California US halts flights to Venezuela Melania Trump expands mission of 'Be Best' on its one-year anniversary MORE said Tuesday that women who have experienced sexual harassment or other misconduct in the workplace can't let the experience ruin their lives. 

Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval MORE (R-Ky.), said at Politico's Women Rule Summit that fixating on mistreatment after it has occurred "holds you back" professionally.

"I will fight for other women and I will stand up for other women, but, of your own, you gotta let it go," Chao said. "Because otherwise, it's too corrosive, it's too negative, and it does you a double injury because it holds you back."

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She made the comments after saying she had her own "#MeToo" moment of experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. Chao declined to identify the harasser, only noting that the person is still active in the workplace.

"The person is still here and they're still around," she said. "Things change, times change, and it's not worth my while to go back and revisit those negative moments."

Chao added that experiences of misconduct in the workplace such as hers are "a dirty little secret that a lot of women have held for a long time."

The fifth annual Women Rule Summit began Tuesday and included several other speakers who touched on the "#MeToo" movement in their remarks. Chao joined fellow Trump administration official Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway: Pelosi is playing Trump 'like a drum' Schumer: Trump was 'agitated' during White House infrastructure meeting Trump, Pelosi exchange insults as feud intensifies MORE at the event, as well as Democrats such as Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandTrump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierMomentum grows to create 'Do Not Track' registry Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment MORE (Calif.). 

This story was updated at 3:41 p.m.