Fox Business host Stuart Varney told former transportation secretary Elaine Chao “we were all appalled” by former President Donald Trump’s racist comment about her in September.
“Former President Trump attacked you on the grounds of your ethnicity,” Varney said to Chao at the start of a segment Monday about inflation. “I wonder if you’d like to take this moment to respond.”
“The president says many things. I don’t make a point of responding to his comments,” replied Chao, who is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and resigned her Trump administration post in January 2021 after the riot at the U.S. Capitol led by Trump supporters.
“OK. I’ll leave it right there. We were all appalled at what he said,” Varney responded.
In a post on his Truth Social platform on Sept. 30, Trump referred to Chao, who was born in Taiwan, as McConnell’s “China loving wife, Coco Chow!”
During an interview with Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto earlier this month, Chao called Trump’s comment racist and said people shouldn’t mention or repeat what he says.
Varney, once a staunch Trump supporter, has become increasingly critical of the former president in the wake of Republican losses in the midterm elections, commentating earlier this month that Trump “appears to be losing what used to be his iron grip on the GOP” after candidates he endorsed in many key midterm races lost.
He also suggested Trump’s announcement that he’d run for president again in 2024 was lackluster and accused him of “dragging the Republican Party into the mud” with his attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his potential rival for the Republican nomination.
Varney’s pivot comes amid reports that Rupert Murdoch’s conservative media empire is distancing itself from Trump’s 2024 run and turning instead to DeSantis.
This story originally appeared on HuffPost