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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely 'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project MORE (R-Ky.) remarked Thursday that he was "glad" that his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoDemocratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed flight Sanders calls for social distancing, masks and disinfection on planes as flights operate at full capacity Pence addresses 16 new citizens at pre-Independence Day naturalization ceremony 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.

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"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 Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' 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 OmarThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid Black lives and the CBC: What happens to a dream deferred? MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president Nadler wins Democratic primary MORE (D-N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressives zero in on another House chairman in primary Ocasio-Cortez pitches interns to work for her instead of McConnell MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid Ocasio-Cortez pitches interns to work for her instead of McConnell MORE (D-Mich.).

The House voted this week to condemn the tweets, which many lawmakers including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation Pelosi: Trump 'himself is a hoax' MORE (D-Calif.) said were racist.