ELAINE CHAO is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife of nearly three decades and served as the US Secretary of Transportation.
The Taiwan-born Republican resigned from her post on January 7, 2021, a day after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol building and rioted, which she said made her feel “deeply troubled.”
Who is Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao?
Secretary Elaine Chao was the 18th the US Secretary of Transportation – which is her second Cabinet position.
She was nominated by President Donald Trump as transportation secretary in November 2016 and took office the following year.
But on January 7, 2021, she resigned from the Trump administration a day after his supporters stormed the Capitol as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the U.S. Department of Transportation,” she said in her resignation, which she shared on Twitter.
She also expressed how the riots left her feeling “deeply troubled” in a way that she “simply cannot set aside.”
Chao also served in former President George W. Bush’s administration as US Secretary of Labor from 2001 to January 2009, making her the first Asian-American woman to be appointed to the President’s Cabinet in history.
Has she been accused of wrongdoing?
The Transportation Department’s watchdog asked the Justice Department to criminally investigate Chao in 2020 over concerns that she misused her office but was rebuffed, according to a report released on March 3, 2021.
The inspector general found that Chao used her staff and office for personal tasks and to promote a shipping business owned by Chao’s father and sisters, in an apparent violation of federal ethics rules.
That company does extensive business with China.
“A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,” deputy inspector general Mitch Behm wrote in a letter to lawmakers.
Chao has denied wrongdoing.
In the report released on March 3, she did not specifically respond to allegations, instead providing a September 2020 memo that argued promoting her family was an appropriate part of her official duties.
“Asian audiences welcome and respond positively to actions by the secretary that include her father in activities when appropriate,” the memo said.
When did they get married?
McConnell and Chao were first introduced by a mutual friend.
They got married on February 6, 1993 and have since become one of the most powerful couples in the United States.
Chao – who wedded McConnell on former president Ronald Reagan’s birthday – previously told CBS News: “Before he was [Senate Majority] leader he actually cooked.
“I call him my low-maintenance husband.”
Has Mitch McConnell been married before?
Yes. Before marrying Chao, Mitch McConnell was married to Sherrill Redmon.
Redmon and McConnell were married from 1968 to 1980.
After their divorce, Redmon became a feminist scholar at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
She then became the director of the Sophia Smith Collection of the Women’s History Archives, in 1993.
How many children does Mitch McConnell have?
Redmon and McConnell had three children: Elly McConnell, Porter McConnell, Claire McConnell.
McConnell and Chao do not have any children together.
In an interview with CNN, Chao said that she sometimes regrets not having children.
She said: “I try not to have too many regrets.
“But I will say to young women … in my generation, we were taught that we can have it all. It doesn’t work like that. So, I try to counsel young women, regardless as to whether they want it or not, there are trade-offs and sacrifices in life.”
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