U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has revealed that she has her own “me too” story, telling an audience at the Politico Women Rule Summit in Washington that she believes most women have experienced such moments for themselves.
“I think that is a dirty little secret that a lot of women have had for a long time,” she said. “Many of us — especially I think in the years past — have experienced it.”
Chao added that she wouldn’t go into specifics about what had happened or name her alleged abuser, explaining that “the person is still here, still around” and that she felt it was better for her to let go of the experience than to dwell on it.
“It’s not worth my while to go back and revisit those negative moments,” Chao said. “I will fight for other women. And I will stand up for other women. But of your own — you have got to let it go. Because otherwise, it is too corrosive. It is too negative and it does you a double injury. Because it holds you back.”
Chao, the first Asian-American woman to serve in a presidential cabinet, had previously served as secretary of labor under George W. Bush. She is the one of the highest-ranking government officials to speak out about experiencing alleged sexual misconduct — a reality that is perhaps tempered by the fact that the current president has been accused by at least 16 women of sexual harassment or assault. President Trump, and even the RNC, have also endorsed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by nine women — including five women who said he molested them when he was in his thirties and they were teenagers. In recent days, supporters of Moore have blamed various figures for the accusations against him — including Chao’s husband, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.
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