Mitch McConnell’s Family Announces Tragic News


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Wednesday morning that the sister of his wife, Elaine Chao, died in a recent car crash.

Chao, who served as the first Asian-American Secretary of Transportation under former President Donald Trump, stated that her family remembered her sister Angela Chao as a “brilliant woman, a charismatic and visionary leader.”

“It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved youngest daughter, Angela Chao,” father James S.C. Chao said in a statement to the Daily Mail.

“Angela is a brilliant woman, a charismatic and visionary leader, and much-loved by all her sisters, our entire family, and friends. As a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, wife, and friend, she was unfailingly filial, thoughtful, kind, and devoted. These qualities were complemented by a spirited personality, exceptional intelligence, compassion for all, and a wonderful sense of humor. She kept us laughing and smiling. Losing her at such a young age is something we never even imagined, and our entire family is devastated with grief,” the family added in its statement.

“As a trailblazer for women in the executive suite, she inspired others to pursue their dreams. She also loved music and tried the French horn as her instrument when she was young, insisting on carrying it herself to every lesson. These early experiences created a lifelong, passionate commitment to the fine arts … Angela’s name in Chinese sounds like the characters for peace and prosperity. She certainly gave more than her share of both to this world. Her absence leaves a void not only in our hearts but in the Asian-American community,” the statement added.


Angela Chao achieved the American Dream through her hard work and dedication. She was one of six siblings and became the CEO of the shipping company Foremost Group in 2018. Angela was a founding member of the Asian American Foundation (AAF).

The AAF focused on providing quality education to underserved Asian American communities. She also held significant positions with the American Bureau of Shipping Council, Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors, and the Metropolitan Opera.

“The Asian American Foundation is heartbroken to learn of the devastating death of Angela Chao, a beloved businesswoman, philanthropist, and respected leader,” the AAF said in a statement. “Angela has left an indelible mark on the Asian American Foundation and the AAPI community. A brilliant and committed leader, Angela’s warmth, kindness, and infectious energy will live on in our work for decades to come.”

McConnell has led the Senate Republicans for nearly 20 years, but his time in power may be running out.

Speaking exclusively to The Daily Caller, several influential Senate Republicans voiced their doubts that Senate Minority Leader McConnell, R-Ky., was the best person to steer the party’s goals in the wake of the recent border bill fiasco.

“Mitch McConnell, in effect, gave the largest in-kind campaign contribution to the Democrats’ Senate campaign committee in history,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told The Daily Caller.

“Every single Democrat candidate in the country running for Senate or House will use the same talking points—they will all say: We wanted to secure the border. We tried to secure the border, but the Republicans wouldn’t let us,” Cruz said. “Now, that is a wild-eyed lie. It is completely false. This bill would have made the border crisis worse.”

Despite McConnell’s familiarity with Senate maneuvers and procedures, he has long been outside the Republican base on issues that are important to them—illegal immigration and border security being foremost among them.

“I think this is our opportunity to take him out, and we’re sort of working to figure out if that’s possible,” according to one Republican senator, granted anonymity by The Daily Caller.

“As long as I’ve been serving in the Senate, there’s never been an issue where the American public is so overwhelmingly in support of our position, which is to secure the border.

“So how can you take — as leader — how do you take an issue where the American people support us and lead us into a box, where now, when a bill is produced, it is worse than doing nothing,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said. “When that’s rejected, we get blamed. I mean, you got to work overtime to screw that up.”

Every senator who spoke with The Daily Caller said that McConnell, not Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, whom McConnell assigned to lead the negotiations, was the one who struck the deal with the Democrats.

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Since Lankford is not seeking reelection, he was considered the best option in the event that the bill failed, which it did.

“I’ve even heard privately, Democratic colleagues tell me, ‘Your leadership was desperate to make a deal, that it made us less willing to negotiate,’” JD Vance, R-Ohio, told The Daily Caller. “So this is an open secret that these guys were not driving a hard bargain, and you see the results in the border package that came out. And now we’re seeing the second step of the process, which is kill the border package. Jam through the Ukraine package. It doesn’t make any sense.”

The proposed $118 border security bill, which included $60 billion in additional funding for Ukraine, went down by a 49-50 margin.

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