The former president of the United States reignited his feud with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday with a racist attack referencing Mr McConnell’s wife, who is Asian-American.
Mr Trump claimed in a statement released just after noon that Mr McConnell was “too busy working on deals with China for his wife and family” to support the former president’s false claims of widespread election fraud, which he alleges led to his defeat at the hands of President Joe Biden.
Mr McConnell has repeatedly rejected Mr Trump’s false claims. His wife, Elaine Chao, is Taiwanese-American and was born in Taipei; she became the first Taiwanese-American to serve as a member of the US Cabinet in 2017 when she was confirmed as Mr Trump’s secretary of Transportation.
The Independent has reached out to Mr McConnell’s office for comment.
Ms Chao was one of the longest-serving members of the Trump administration, staying for nearly Mr Trump’s entire tenure, but resigned in the hours following the attack on the US Capitol earlier this year.
The Senate Republican leader’s feud with Mr Trump dates back to before January, when Mr McConnell emerged as one of the main Republican national-level elected figures who did not echo the former president’s false claims about election fraud. Still, he refused to acknowledge Mr Biden’s victory for some time after the election last year, and downplayed the danger of Mr Trump’s legal challenges and false claims about the election for weeks before 6 January.
The pair broke potentially for good ahead of the vote to certify the election results on 6 January, when he whipped members of his caucus against sustaining objections to the results in states including Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Mr Trump has spent the months since leaving office endorsing primary challengers to Republicans he views as disloyal, sparing Mr McConnell only because the Senate GOP leader was reelected last year and therefore won’t face a challenge until 2026.
The president’s use of racist language regarding Asian-Americans is well documented. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year as anti-Asian attacks were on the rise around the US, Mr Trump repeatedly used the terms “Kung Flu” and “China Virus” to describe the pandemic as a means of heaping blame on China’s government.