The White House aide who mocked U.S. Senator John McCain for “dying” will be dealt with “internally,” officials said.
At a press conference Monday, deputy press secretary Raj Shah said that while he understood the public’s “focus on the issue,” the White House would determine the proper repercussions for the aide, who dismissed McCain’s opinion because of his illness.
Kelly Sadler, a White House communications aide, made the remarks when discussing McCain’s objections to CIA director nominee Gina Haspel, saying it “doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”
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McCain has been battling brain cancer, and has been recovering at his home in Arizona. That didn’t stop him from releasing a statement slamming Haspel for refusing to condemn torture.
Since then Sadler and the White House have been criticized for the remarks. The White House confirmed Friday that Sadler still worked there.
McCain’s daughter, Meghan, who is a host on ABC’s the View, slammed the work environment of the White House.
“I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in when that would be acceptable, and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job,” Meghan said Friday.
Shah said Sadler had called McCain’s family to apologize.
“I was told Kelly Sadler called the McCain family late last week and did apologize,” Shah said.
Reporters said that McCain’s family had been promised a public apology by Sadler, but Shah dodged questions about that, saying he “wasn’t on the call.”
“She has addressed it with the family directly and I don’t have anything further to add.”
There were no details on how Sadler would be “handled.”
“Obviously, if I explained that, it wouldn’t be internal,” he said.
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Asked whether the White House was more concerned with the “leak” of information instead of the insulting content of the comments, Shah said: “We’re concerned about all sorts of matters.”