WaPost gives three Pinocchios to McConnell challenger for China attack

The Washington Post gave Senate candidate Amy McGrath (D-Ky.) three Pinocchios on Monday after she said that her November opponent, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), “made millions from China.”

The Post’s fact-checker called the statement “spurious.”

McGrath’s statement was made in the context of an attack on trade deals between the U.S. and China. The Democrat said McConnell had also profited from China.

“His trade deals made China richer, their military stronger. They’re spying on us and they didn’t stop the coronavirus. Oh, and Mitch made millions from China,” the narrator of McGrath’s ad says.

The ad also points to McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who serves as Transportation secretary in the Trump administration. Her family is originally from China and owns a shipping company called Foremost Group.

The Post said McConnell did become richer by marrying. 

Chao’s mother, Ruth Chao, died in 2007 and left a sizable inheritance estimated to be about $9 million to her daughter.

But it wrote that McConnell’s wealth had nothing to do with trade agreements. 

“The story of how McConnell got rich has nothing to do with Chinese trade deals, spycraft or the coronavirus. He simply married into a higher tax bracket. Other than the inheritance in 2007, no record shows McConnell or his wife receiving a financial windfall from the Chaos,” Post fact-checker Salvador Rizzo writes.

“To say McConnell ‘made millions from China’ is grossly misleading. American companies do not become less American by establishing successful shipping routes in the South China Sea. Three Pinocchios,” the fact-check concludes.

McGrath’s campaign defended the advertisement in comments to the Post.

“Millions and millions came to McConnell and his wife in recent years from a company whose business was powered by Chinese trade,” McGrath spokesman Terry Sebastian told the Post. “It’s more than fair to point out that fact to voters.”

The Post’s fact-checker applies Pinocchios ranging from one to four, with four being reserved for what the column considers the most egregious statements.

Tags Amy McGrath China Coronavirus Elaine Chao Kentucky Mitch McConnell Trade

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