McConnell says he's glad his immigrant wife 'not willing to go back home'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFury over Trump Syria decision grows Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe Trump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds MORE (R-Ky.) remarked Thursday that he was "glad" that his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoChao met with more officials from Kentucky than any other state: report Ex-senior Trump administration official joins lobbying shop Industry spends big to sell safety of driverless cars MORE, was not "willing" to go back to her home country of Taiwan.

During an interview with Fox Business Network, McConnell was asked how he felt about Chao's nationality being brought up by reporters who asked whether it would be racist for someone to tell Chao to "go back" to Taiwan.


"Well, I'm glad Elaine's not willing to go back home," McConnell said, chuckling. "As your viewers may not know, she came here at age 8, not speaking a word of English. She's been in two Cabinets, both President [George H.W.] Bush 43 and President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE's. I'm really proud of her."

"She's not interested in going home and I'm glad she's not," he added.

The remarks came during a discussion about President Trump's tweets urging four Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their home "countries," which have been officially condemned as "racist" by the House of Representatives. 

McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that he does not believe Trump is a racist, and dodged a question from CNN's Manu Raju on whether the president's sentiment would be racist had it been directed at McConnell's wife.

Chao, the senator said Tuesday, "has realized the American dream, and I think all of us think that this is a process of renewal that’s gone on in this country for a very long time, and it’s good for America and we ought to continue it."

Trump has battled Democrats for days following his Sunday Twitter attacks aimed at Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIlhan Omar raises .1 million in third quarter New California law bans school lunch debt shaming The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezObamas' first Netflix project nominated for Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Sanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPennsylvania candidate would be first autistic woman elected to a state legislature Pressley joins hundreds of activists calling for Kavanaugh impeachment: 'I believe in the power of us' The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTrump labels Tlaib 'a despicable human being' Tlaib says Democrats have discussed detaining White House officials who don't testify The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (D-Mich.).

The House voted this week to condemn the tweets, which many lawmakers including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says Trump sanctions package on Turkey 'falls very short' Graham throws support behind Trump's Turkey sanctions Feehery: Trump may be down, but he's not out yet MORE (D-Calif.) said were racist.