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 Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Iraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests 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 ConwayDem criticizes newest calendars for Trump Interior chief as 'fake' Bush economics director says psychiatrists labeled Trump 'total narcissist' Hatch Act complaints jumped nearly 30 percent Trump's first year in office: report MORE at the event, as well as Democrats such as Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGOP faces new challenge in 2020 abortion fight 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights 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.