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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Hickenlooper announces Senate bid Trump orders elimination of student loan debt for thousands of disabled veterans MORE (R-Ky.) remarked Thursday that he was "glad" that his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoTrump administration takes step to relax truck driver time regulations New guidance on travel with service animals is a step forward, but more can be done The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller testimony gives Trump a boost as Dems ponder next steps 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 TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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 OmarJewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPoll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPoll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Jewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE (D-Mich.).

The House voted this week to condemn the tweets, which many lawmakers including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCutting tariffs is better than cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy In debate over internet speech law, pay attention to whose voices are ignored MORE (D-Calif.) said were racist.