Following President Trump’s racist tweets telling a group of Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their countries, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff disputed charges that the president is a racist by noting he has one Asian woman of color in his cabinet.
Marc Short, the former White House legislative liaison and current top aide to Pence, told Fox News on Monday that Trump couldn’t have had any “racist motives” in his Sunday tweetstorm because he selected Elaine Chao to serve as his secretary of transportation.
Chao, who is married to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States as a child. Prior to serving in the Trump administration, Chao was the secretary of labor under President George W. Bush.
Short said that when Chao moved to America she was “unable to speak English” but eventually became a naturalized citizen.
“So when people write that the president has racist motives here, just look at the reality of who is actually serving in Donald Trump’s cabinet,” Short said.
Among Trump’s 23 cabinet-level positions, only three are filled by racial or ethnic minorities including Chao, Housing Secretary Ben Carson and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, reports Newsweek.
“I think the president has a great ability to draw attention to Elaine Chao and his ability to tweet has been an effective communication skill,” Short added when asked if the White House will be making any changes to stop the president before he writes such a controversial post.
Here's Marc Short, Pence's chief of staff, defending Trump's racist tweets this morning by claiming that he can't have had "racist motives" because Elaine Chao serves in his cabinet, and he's making the point that Ilhan Omar never says positive things about the U.S.. pic.twitter.com/B7WkNxjQPG
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) July 15, 2019
“How is it not racist to tell women of color to go back to their countries when most of them were born here anyways and they are all U.S. citizens?” MSNBC’s Kristen Walker asked Short.
“Kristen, he has an Asian woman of color in his cabinet,” Short responded.
Walker fired back: “What does that have to do” with telling women of color to go back to their countries?
“Because I’m making the case that this is not a universal statement that he is making. He is making it about a very specific – pretty much an individual member of Congress that I think has said most things that she is most unhappy about the United state of America,” Short responded.
‘I don’t think the president’s intent in any way is racist’: Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short defends Trump's tweets about four U.S. congresswomen. More: https://t.co/qgoWbqAyHK pic.twitter.com/1MJNGSWKhx
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 15, 2019