McConnell Brushes Off Reports Of Wife’s Favoritism

Secretary of Transportation nominee Elaine Chao and her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell depart the 2017 Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington,DC. Donald Trump wa... Secretary of Transportation nominee Elaine Chao and her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell depart the 2017 Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington,DC. Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- ushering in a new political era that has been cheered and feared in equal measure. / AFP / POOL / Jack Gruber (Photo credit should read JACK GRUBER/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 12, 2019 10:43 a.m.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) brushed off a report that his pet projects are getting special attention from the Department of Transportation due to his close (read: married) relationship to Secretary Elaine Chao.

“You know, I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five,” he said to a reporter who asked about the veracity of the report. “I hope we can do a lot better next year.”

That’s the statistic being touted by the Transportation Department as well.

Per Politico’s report, the department’s grants for McConnell’s projects have topped $78 million as the Kentucky senator gears up for reelection in 2020. The projects include an $11.5 million infrastructure improvement to Owensboro, a city long tied to McConnell that features a plaza named after him.

Chao also reportedly assigned an aide, Todd Inman, to specifically work as an intermediary between McConnell’s office and hers, an edge that other states do not have.

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