Rep. Judy Chu, the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, blasted GOP Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas on Thursday over his comments this week questioning her loyalty to the U.S.
Chu, D-Calif., issued a statement in response to Gooden's remarks in a Fox News interview Wednesday night, when he suggested Chu should not have a security clearance or access to classified briefings. Chu had defended Dominic Ng, a Biden appointee featured in an article by the conservative Daily Caller that alleged Ng has ties to a Chinese Communist Party front group.
"Rep. Gooden’s comments on Fox News questioning my loyalty to the USA is absolutely outrageous," said Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress. "It is based on false information spread by an extreme, right-wing website. Furthermore, it is racist. I very much doubt that he would be spreading these lies were I not of Chinese American descent."
Gooden said in the interview, “I think that Judy Chu needs to be called out.”
“I question her either loyalty or competence. If she doesn’t realize what’s going on, then she’s totally out of touch with one of her core constituencies,” he said. "I’m really disappointed and shocked that someone like Judy Chu would have a security clearance and entitled to confidential intelligence briefings until this is figured out."
Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel defended the article in a statement, saying: “It was well researched, fairly reported and based largely on direct Chinese language source materials. Rep. Chu is lashing out wildly instead of engaging substantively since she can’t refute the facts presented.”
Gooden, a third-term lawmaker who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, was joined Feb. 15 by five other House Republicans in asking the FBI to investigate Ng, the CEO of East West Bank in California, whom Biden appointed last year to be the chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council.
Chu and other members of the Asian Pacific American Caucus — Democratic Reps. Grace Meng of New York, Ted Lieu of California and Mark Takano of California — fired back at their GOP colleagues two days later in a joint statement.
"As with every presidential appointee, Dominic Ng, who is Chinese American, has undergone an extensive vetting process and sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution and serve the American public," they said. "No Chinese Americans—indeed no Americans—should face suspicions of disloyalty or treason based on their ethnicity, nation of origin, or that of their family members."
Federal Election Commission records show that Ng has donated to various Democratic congressional candidates, including Lieu, as well to the Biden Victory Fund and the Democratic National Committee in recent years.
Asked on Fox News whether Chu should be "looked into" in light of her defense of Ng, Gooden said, “I think everyone that's standing up for China’s Communist Party should be looked into, yes."
He added that he believed Chu had acted as a “ringleader” and dragged along “the other Chinese American members” of the caucus in supporting Ng.
Lieu and Meng are Taiwanese American, and Takano is Japanese American.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., castigated Gooden in a statement Thursday.
“Gooden’s slanderous accusation of disloyalty against Rep. Chu is dangerous, unconscionable and xenophobic,” Jeffries said.
Gooden stood by his comments Thursday, saying, “Rather than following facts that indicate the presence of Chinese espionage, Chu and Jeffries are playing the race card in a sick display of disloyalty to our nation.”
A spokesperson for East West Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.