Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shrugged off a question Tuesday about whether he received special treatment from the Transportation Department because of his marriage to the agency’s secretary, Elaine Chao.
“I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five,” he deadpanned. “I hope we’ll do a lot better next year.”
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McConnell’s remarks at a weekly news conference came one day after POLITICO reported that Chao appointed a special liaison to assist with grant applications for the state of Kentucky.
The special liaison, Todd Inman, offered guidance on grants that were of particular importance to McConnell, who is also up for re-election in 2020.
The agency has provided at last $78 million in grants for the state’s projects, according to the POLITICO report, which fueled a wave of criticism from ethics officials.