Investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, author of the new book “Red Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win,” told The Star News Network that the leader of Senate Republicans, Kentucky’s Sen. A. Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell, is tied to the top leadership of the Chinese Communist Party through his wife’s family.

“When Mitch McConnell married Elaine Chao, he married into a family with very substantial connections on mainland China and the Chinese Communist Party,” said Schweizer, who is also the president of The Government Accountability Institute.

“James Chao, who is Elaine Chao’s father, that would be Sen. Mitch McConnell’s father-in-law, grew up with Jiang Zemin, who was the premier of China in the 1990s,” Schweizer said.

Schweizer said a government report detailed how McConnell’s wife used her position as the transportation secretary to benefit her family.

Chao’s father’s company, Foremost Group, owns some of the largest cargo ships in the world, moving goods from China to ports across the globe, and it has benefited from contracts from the Chinese military.

Angela Chao, now the Foremost Group CEO, also sat on the board of directors of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, which builds ships for the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

“When Elaine Chao became the transportation secretary – when she took official delegations to China, she planned to and intended to bring her sister and her father on those trips,” he said.

In addition, receiving millions of dollars in political contributions from members of the Chao family, McConnell received a massive gift from his father-in-law, he said.

“When it comes to Mitch McConnell, it’s pretty clear his financial fortunes are fused with those of the Chao family; in fact, James Chao gave him a gift of—more than a decade ago—of between $5 million and $25 million,” he said. “That basically quadrupled his net worth overnight.”

Schweizer said the McConnell-Chao family is a situation that fosters divided loyalties.

“You have this fusing of the Chao family and Mitch McConnell to the Chinese state, and it creates a circumstance, if McConnell were to do something that Beijing didn’t like, they could literally destroy the business overnight.”

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Neil W. McCabe is get national political editor of  The Star News Network. Send him news tips at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @neilwmccabe2.