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 ChaoThe Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? House committee launches investigation into Transportation Secretary Chao Trump awards Medal of Valor, civilian honors to responders in Dayton and El Paso shootings 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 McConnellDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Democrats press for action on election security Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill 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 ConwayObama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' Journalists, political heavyweights pay respects to Cokie Roberts: 'A pioneer for so many' Iran's supreme leader rules out talks with US at all levels MORE at the event, as well as Democrats such as Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierDemocrats call on House committees to probe Epstein's 2008 'sweetheart deal,' suicide Scaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' Epstein death sparks questions for federal government MORE (Calif.). 

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