The Washington Post fact checker is calling out Senate candidate Amy McGrath, D-Ky., for claiming her opponent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "made millions from China."
The newspaper awarded the statement made in a political ad three Pinocchios and called the claim "spurious."
The comment was made in an ad attacking trade deals between the U.S. and China. McGrath alleged that McConnell 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 states.
The ad also references 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. When Elaine Chao's mother, Ruth Chao, died in 2007 she left about $9 million to her daughter, according to Forbes.
The fact checker said McConnell did boost his net worth by marrying Chao, but the wealth has nothing to do with trade agreements as the ad claims.
"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 wrote.
The fact checker states: “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.”
McGrath spokesman Terry Sebastian defended the ad to The Washington Post.
"Millions and millions came to McConnell and his wife in recent years from a company whose business was powered by Chinese trade,” Sebastian told the Post. “It’s more than fair to point out that fact to voters.”
The Pinocchio scale ranges from one to four with four being awarded to statements that the fact checker finds the most egregious.
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