Reporter Invokes Mitch McConnell’s Wife In Question On Trump’s Tweets, He Responds: ‘Well, [She] Came Here At Age 8 — Legally’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was pressed by a group of reporters on President Trump’s recent comments instructing some Democratic lawmakers to “go back” to their countries.

Trump’s comment was perceived as racist from some individuals on the Left and members of the mainstream media pressed McConnell for his opinion.

In one exchange, a reporter invoked McConnell’s wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who migrated legally to the United States when she was young.

Politico reports CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju asked McConnell: “You’re married to an immigrant who’s a naturalized U.S. citizen. If someone were to say to her she should go back to her country because of criticism of federal policies, wouldn’t you consider that racist?”

McConnell answered, “Well, the Secretary of Transportation [Elaine Chao] came here at age 8, legally, not speaking a word of English and has realized the American dream. And I think all of us think that this is a process of renewal that’s gone on in this country for a very long time, and it’s good for America and we ought to continue it.”

The journalist pressed: “But was it racist for him to say go back to your country?”

“As I said,” McConnell responds, “legal immigration has been a fulfilling of the American dream. The new people who come here have a lot of ambition, a lot of energy, tend to do very well and invigorate our country. And my wife’s a good example of that.”

NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt chimed in: “Would you ever use the words ‘go back to where you came from?'”

The Majority Leader said, “Look, I’m obviously a big fan of legal immigration. It’s been a big part of my family for a quarter of a century. As I look around the country and watch the contributions that have been made by new arrivals and the children of new arrivals, it’s been reinvigorating America for hundreds of years. So I’m a big fan of legal immigration.”

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Watch:

“Do you think Trump would be more likely to tone down his rhetoric if Republican leaders like yourself spoke out more forcefully?” another reporter asked.

The majority leader responded: “I think everybody ought to tone down.”

“The president, to the speaker to freshman members of the House, all of us are responsible for our public discourse. Our words do matter,” McConnell continued via Politico. “We all know politics is a contact sport but it’s about time we lowered the temperature all across the board. All of us, to a better level of discourse.”

“But you stopped short of calling his comments racist?” the reporter pressed.

“Well, the president’s not racist,” McConnell responded.

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