Wednesday Open Thread | Shocking allegations of corruption involving Elaine Chao and Mitch McConnell

The Transportation Department under Secretary Elaine Chao designated a special liaison to help with grant applications and other priorities from her husband Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky, paving the way for grants totaling at least $78 million for favored projects as McConnell prepared to campaign for reelection.

Chao’s aide Todd Inman, who stated in an email to McConnell’s Senate office that Chao had personally asked him to serve as an intermediary, helped advise the senator and local Kentucky officials on grants with special significance for McConnell — including a highway-improvement project in a McConnell political stronghold that had been twice rejected for previous grant applications.

Beginning in April 2017, Inman and Chao met annually with a delegation from Owensboro, Ky., a river port with long connections to McConnell, including a plaza named in his honor. At the meetings, according to participants, the secretary and the local officials discussed two projects of special importance to the river city of 59,809 people — a plan to upgrade road connections to a commercial riverport and a proposal to expedite reclassifying a local parkway as an Interstate spur, a move that could persuade private businesses to locate in Owensboro.

Inman, himself a longtime Owensboro resident and onetime mayoral candidate who is now Chao’s chief of staff, followed up the 2017 meeting by emailing the riverport authority on how to improve its application. He also discussed the project by phone with Al Mattingly, the chief executive of Daviess County, which includes Owensboro, who suggested Inman was instrumental in the process.

“Todd probably smoothed the way, I mean, you know, used his influence,” Mattingly said in a POLITICO interview. “Everybody says that projects stand on their own merit, right? So if I’ve got 10 projects, and they’re all equal, where do you go to break the tie?”

“Well, let’s put it this way: I only have her ear an hour when I go to visit her once a year,” he added of Chao and Inman, a longtime Bluegrass State operative who had worked as McConnell’s advance man. “With a local guy, he has her ear 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You tell me.”

The circumstances surrounding the Owensboro grant and another, more lucrative grant to Boone County, highlight the ethical conflicts in having a powerful Cabinet secretary married to the Senate’s leader and in a position to help him politically. McConnell has long touted his ability to bring federal resources to his state, which his wife is now in a position to assist.

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114 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Shocking allegations of corruption involving Elaine Chao and Mitch McConnell

  1. What gets me is the media pretending to be shocked at Trump’s comments about foreign powers offering dirt on opponents. They’ll exonerate him from all criminality in the next tweet. FOH!

  2. Muslim ban enacted
    Pedophiles are endorsed
    Immigrant children locked in cages
    Rule of law gone
    Obstruction of justice in broad daylight
    Subpoenas ignored
    Encourages others to violate the law
    Sexual assaulters get to the WH & the Supreme Court
    The US Senate – dereliction of duty

    White people want Trump. They own all of what’s happening to America.

  3. All of this! They’d rather burn the country down to the ground than have it any other way.

    White people own this nightmare. From the Halls of Congress to the media, to the rural white voter. This is who they want. They don’t care if he’s a criminal. He’s racist & that’s enough for them.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Married to another man??😲😲😲

    • eliihass says:

      It’s that desi connection.. not hard to understand.. (As understandable as is the Dartmouth alumni connection that finds Kaling on CNN prime time with Jake Tapper);

      But since random B-list celebrity endorsements are making headlines, here’s Samuel L. Jackson with Stephen Colbert/Late night the other night.. he’s unimpressed with the current field and says he prefers Stacey Abrams.. as do a whole bunch of Hollywood types (who aren’t desi, or affiliated with/pledged allegiance to the AKA/Skee Wee thing)..

  5. rikyrah says:

    He really should be confronted about this during the debates

  6. rikyrah says:

    Well, this is interesting…..hmmmm…
    gotta laugh at them asking for information about the new wife so bluntly in the story.

    EXCLUSIVE PICTURES: Meet Hunter Biden’s new wife! Just weeks after splitting up with his brother Beau’s widow, the vice president’s son secretly marries world-traveling South African activist
    Joe Biden’s son Hunter, 49, married Melissa Cohen, from South Africa, in Los Angeles in mid-May

    Hunter used an instant marriage company to marry Cohen, and the hasty vows hint that Joe and the rest of the Bidens were not in attendance for the big day

    A friend of Cohen said she lives in Los Angeles and the newlyweds met in early in May, having a whirlwind romance and getting matching tattoos

    On Sunday, Jill Biden posted a family photo celebrating Hunter’s daughter Maisy’s graduation from high school but Hunter’s new wife was absent

    In late April, reports surfaced Hunter had called it quits with his late brother Beau’s widow Hallie after two years of dating

    At the beginning of their relationship, Hunter was still married to his then-wife Kathleen, though they had been estranged. That divorce was finalized in 2017

    Do you know Melissa Cohen? Email


    PUBLISHED: 12:44 EDT, 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:51 EDT, 12 June 2019

    • eliihass says:

      What an utter mess..

      This Hunter guy seriously needs to get his act together.. so messed up..

      Destroyed his marriage and kids, destroyed his family dynamics by hooking up with his late brother’s wife.. now once again indulging his mid-life crisis by hooking up with some woman – in these dicey times where so-called ‘honeypots’ are planted by adversaries to infiltrate and destroy..

  7. rikyrah says:

    Things are heating up in Hong Kong.

    Police repeatedly fire tear gas on protesters as confrontation turns violent in Hong Kong
    PUBLISHED TUE, JUN 11 2019 10:10 PM EDT

    Large crowds of protesters gathered around the local legislature as lawmakers postponed a debate on a law that’s been condemned by hundreds of thousands in the city.

    The protesters are vowing to stop a government plan to allow extraditions to mainland China, but the heart of the demonstration is the fight against the city ceding its autonomy to Beijing.

    Police threatened action and later fired tear gas at protesters.

    Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who has refused to bow to public pressure, condemned the protests as an “open and organized riot.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    The Curve for Unqualified White Men is REAL.

    “Jared is one of these guys who has fallen up in his life every time… I think the guy you see in this interview is the real Jared. He’s not that competent, he’s terrified of his father-in-law, yet he is the Secretary of everything” – @TheRickWilson w/ @NicolleDWallace

    — Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) June 3, 2019

  9. Ametia says:

    Word of the Day : June 12, 2019

    Equivocal: adjective ih-KWIV-uh-kul

    1 a : subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse

    b : uncertain as an indication or sign

    2 a : of uncertain nature or classification

    b : of uncertain disposition toward a person or thing : undecided

    c : of doubtful advantage, genuineness, or moral rectitude

  10. rikyrah says:

    Chao corruption shocking even for scandal-plagued Trump cabinet
    Rachel Maddow looks at how Donald Trump’s cabinet has been rife with scandal from the beginning of his term, and rounds up recent reports of brazen corruption by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Chris Lu, former Obama cabinet secretary, joins to share his insights.
    June 11, 2019

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump Has Received Money from 22 Foreign Governments
    June 12, 2019

    Representatives of at least 22 foreign governments appear to have spent money at Trump Organization properties, an NBC News review has found, hinting at a significant foreign cash flow to the American president that critics say violates the U.S. Constitution.

    The extent and amount of foreign spending at Trump’s hotels, golf clubs and restaurants is not known, because the Trump Organization is a private company and declines to disclose that information.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Hit dogs holler 😒😒

    The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) Tweeted:
    A Democrat read a letter calling Trump supporters “racist” and “dumb” on the House floor. The GOP wasn’t happy.

  13. rikyrah says:

    A historian brought proof of family’s ancestors voting before Jim Crow to some of the Congressional Black Caucus:

    “That was the last member of John Lewis’s family to vote until the work that he did crossing that Edmund Pettus Bridge [in Selma, Ala.,] and all the work he did on voting rights,” said Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.), referring to the infamous “Bloody Sunday” civil rights protest in which marchers — including then-organizer Lewis — were beaten by police. Clark described the emotional scene in the caucus at Democrats’ weekly news conference after the meeting.

    Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) stood up and showed the room a scarf she wears almost every day: a lightweight piece of fabric imprinted with a blown-up picture of her own great-grandfather’s voting card. She had it created when she became the first black woman to be elected to Congress from Delaware.

    • eliihass says:

      They’re weaseling out in the face of a treasonous buffoon and his criminal cohort mocking and making a mockery of them, making a complete fool of them and brazenly poking them in the eye every single day… and daring them to do something about it..

      Yet, they’re still focused intently on a 71 year old black woman..

    • Liza says:

      “Is there not one decent, sensible adult working I’m this administration?”

      There is not. What decent person would want to be associated with Trump?

  14. rikyrah says:

    From the publisher of the woman who bothered the eating transit worker

    • Liza says:

      Good grief, who is his tailor? Awful appearance, just awful. Looks like a fat slob.

      • eliihass says:

        Appearance aside, isn’t it time the media stop using the p-honorific to legitimize and bolster a criminal …even as they report on his brazen criminality…?

    • rikyrah says:

      Not everyone makes six figures and has an 8 figure cushion.👀👀👀 Jemele Hill

      It was someone on another blog who wrote it and made more sense than anything I’ve read yet…

      Black folks know who they live with. The majority of US live in red states. We want some sort of protection from the demons that we live with. During 44’s years, they were no less demon, but, we had a FEDERAL APPARATUS keeping them in check.

      Black folks want that FEDERAL APPARATUS back. They KNEW, when left to their own devices, what these Republicans would do. Seeing it in practice…
      Don’t have time for ponies and unicorns.
      Have time for what can happen right now.
      Half a bushel is better than none…because, we can’t handle another 4 years of none.

    • eliihass says:


      He thinks he’s slick with that whole blanket accusation.. even though he knows full well who’s to blame.. and who’s in charge..

    • Liza says:

      Vietnam will forever haunt us, any American with a conscience.

      They were showing “Platoon” on one of the TV stations over the Memorial Day weekend. I hadn’t seen it in a long time, it’s not easy to watch. I watched it a couple of times then ordered the DVD. Oliver Stone’s director’s commentary is just about the best one I’ve ever heard.

      Stone, of course, is a Vietnam combat veteran who served in the army in 1967-68. He wrote “Platoon” in the mid-70s but no one was interested in making the film. He finally found financing ten years later. The Pentagon refused to help him, saying the film was “unrealistic.” But the characters and the battles and some of the events are based on Stone’s real life experience. “Platoon” is a history lesson which is exactly what Stone intended, not many films have been able to do that.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

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