- REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
- White House staffer Kelly Sadler is accused of mocking Sen. John McCain, who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.
- Two unnamed sources told The Hill that Sadler took issue with McCain’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee, Gina Haspel, allegedly dismissing the ailing Arizona senator, saying “he’s dying anyway.”
- The White House did not deny the account, according to The Hill, but expressed its support for McCain in a statement released later.
- Trump has frequently been at odds with McCain. Trump mocked his military service during the 2016 presidential election.
Kelly Sadler, a special assistant in the White House, is accused of mocking John McCain on Thursday. McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona, is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Two unnamed sources told The Hill that Sadler took issue with McCain’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee, Gina Haspel, allegedly dismissing the ailing McCain, saying “he’s dying anyway.”
McCain on Wednesday said that Haspel is unfit to run the CIA because she would not say definitively that torture is immoral. That issue is one of several that have made Haspel’s journey toward Senate confirmation an uphill battle.
The White House did not deny the account of Sadler’s alleged remark about McCain, but expressed its support for the ailing statesman and Vietnam war veteran in a statement released to The Hill:
“We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation, and he and his family are in our prayers,” the statement reads in part.
Sadler’s reported jab did not go unnoticed. the senator’s wife, Cindy, rebuked Sadler on Twitter: “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.”
One White House official told New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman that some people “gasped” at Sadler’s remark. “A few laughed,” Haberman wrote. CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins said Sadler called McCain’s daughter, Meghan, to apologize.
McCain and Trump have frequently been at odds since Trump was a candidate in the 2016 election. Trump, at one point, ridiculed McCain’s military service and said “he’s not a war hero.” McCain made headlines this week when it was revealed that he does not plan to invite Trump to his funeral.