Accountable.US: “A company’s staff reflects its values, and Kroger’s decision to reward a complicit top Trump official with a cushy executive gig does not speak well to theirs”
Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Kroger, one of America’s largest supermarket chains, announced that scandal-plagued former Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has been elected to the company’s board of directors. Government watchdog Accountable.US issued the following statement in response:
“From standing by the former disgraced president through some of the darkest days in American history, including his comments about “very fine people” on both sides after white supremacists gathered for a rally in Charlottesville, to using her position to bolster her family’s shipping business and her husband’s political career, Elaine Chao’s tenure in a scandal-ridden administration was marred by her own deeply troubling ethical controversies,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “A company’s staff reflects its values, and Kroger’s decision to reward a complicit top Trump official with a cushy executive gig does not speak well to theirs.”
Elaine Chao was one of the former president’s worst enablers, and was involved in a series of ethics controversies throughout her time leading the Department of Transportation (DOT). Chao failed to condemn the former president for his comments after Charlottesville, standing next to the President as he claimed there were “very fine people, on both sides” after white supremacists had gathered and attacked racial justice advocates, resulting in the death of an innocent protester. An Inspector General’s report found Chao sought to use her office to help family members in the shipping business. Chao also failed to divest her shares from the industry that supplied construction materials to the transportation sector, enriching herself by $40,000 as a result.
According to a Public Financial Disclosure report, Chao had a continual financial arrangement with her former employer, the scandal-clad Wells Fargo, while serving asTransportation Secretary, that allowed her to receive 50-percent of her deferred stock payout in March of 2020 and 50-percent in March 2021. Chao also failed to adequately disclose awards, titles, and appointments she had apparently received in China as requested as part of her Senate confirmation process, and failed to recuse herself from any decisions affecting the shipping industry that she oversaw. She repeatedly used her position in the DOT to benefit her husband’s, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, political career, including giving the state of Kentucky preferential treatment for road upgrades and other projects.
Read more on Chao’s controversial tenure as Trump’s Transportation secretary below:
- New York Times: Inspector General’s Report Cites Elaine Chao for Using Office to Help Family
- Slate: This Is Still Happening: Elaine Chao
- Politico: Chao created special path for McConnell’s favored projects
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