Rep. Michelle Steel says she's been called 'Chairman Mao'

Rep. Michelle Steel says she's been called 'Chairman Mao'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.), one of the first three Korean American members of Congress, said in an interview that aired on Sunday that she has faced racist attacks, including being called “Chairman Mao.”

Steel appeared on a segment of CNN's "State of the Union" along with Rep. Young Kim (R-Calif.), a fellow Korean American congresswoman with whom she has been friends for more than 30 years.

While talking about the racist behavior she has encountered, Steel told host Dana BashDana BashDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal GOP governor says McCarthy should condemn Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE that she has also been accused of eating dogs.

“I can't say it on TV, but, you know racist — my favorite [was] Chairman Mao,” Steel said.

During the same interview, Kim said the anti-Asian rhetoric from some of her GOP colleagues and former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE was “completely wrong, insensitive.”

Bash asked Kim if she believed the rhetoric contributed to the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

“You know, the words of the leaders have consequences. They need to be careful about what they say because people really take that to heart,” Kim responded.

Several Democratic Asian American members of Congress, such as Rep. Grace MengGrace Meng91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill State Democrat group teams up with federal lawmakers to elect down-ballot candidates Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE (N.Y.), have directly blamed Trump for contributing to the rise in anti-Asian American violence such as the deadly shootings last week in Atlanta that killed six women of Asian descent.

"People cannot work, and they cannot put food on the table for their families. They have to do something about it, and then we are the victim, we just — Asian Americans — just became the victim. So we really have to change that," Kim added on CNN.