Though she has a much less visible position than her husband, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Elaine Chao still has a lot of power in Washington serving as Secretary of Transportation in the Trump administration.
And we now know that Secretary Chao has been using her position to make millions of dollars from both Russia and China for her family business, which is owned by her father, according to Politico:
“Experts in government ethics said Elaine Chao’s media appearances with her father might violate a regulation that prohibits federal employees from using their public office for their ‘own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.'”
Chao has also refused to divest herself from financial holdings which were greatly increased in value when her husband agreed to help make sure U.S. sanctions were lifted on a noted Russian oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin:
Interesting news on Elaine Chao & Mitch McConnell. Also, don’t forget Mitch McConnell removed sanctions against Deripaska who then turned around and invested hundreds of millions into a Kentucky “aluminum” operation. Chao & McConnell are compromised and so is this country. https://t.co/rqlbqigVMy
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) May 28, 2019
Shortly after McConnell made sure the Senate didn’t reimpose sanctions on Deripaska, the Russian oligarch suddenly agreed to invest $200 million in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. That’s one hell of a coincidence.
It’s also worth mentioning that the business Chao’s family has made their money from is the shipping industry, which just happens to fall under the purview of the U.S. Department of Transportation. No conflict of interest there, huh? And Chao’s father has made sure to reward his daughter for her loyalty and willingness to make sure his business is taken care of when it comes to what it needs from the federal government:
“James Chao has shared his financial success with his daughter. In April 2008, Elaine Chao and her husband received a large gift from her father in honor of her mother after her death. According to McConnell’s financial disclosure forms, the size of the gift was between $5 million and $25 million, contributing to a seven-fold increase in his wealth over a 10-year period.”
Quid, pro, and quo.
So if you were wondering why Mitch McConnell has his nose stuck so far up Trump’s ass that he can tell what the president had for breakfast, all you have to do is follow the money.