It is almost as if it never happened. The day after a White House aide made an insulting comment about the health of Senator John McCain, the President’s office refused to acknowledge the remark. Thursday’s comment was made by Kelly Sadler, an assistant in the White House communications department. The remark came during a meeting of staffers about President Donald Trump’s CIA director nominee, Gina Haspel. Sadler said that McCain’s feelings about Haspel do not even matter in light of the fact that “he’s dying anyway.” The comment was made in reference to the Senator from Arizona’s battle with stage four glioblastoma. The disparaging remark was leaked by a White House staffer and quickly picked up by media outlets everywhere.
When asked about the conversation on Friday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insinuated that the questions about the remark were intended to stir the pot and create conflict within Trump’s team of aides. Despite interrogation by the press corps, Sanders held her ground and refused to make comments about an internal staff meeting. The only fact that Sanders would confirm was that Sadler was still employed at the White House. The official who originally leaked the comment said that although Sadler meant the remark to be a joke, it fell flat with its audience.
Senator McCain’s daughter, Megan McCain, became emotional when asked about the comment during Friday morning’s airing of The View. The talk show host told her co-hosts and the studio audience to not feel bad because both she and her family are strong. She also took the opportunity to reflect on her belief that the tone of the White House staff is set by its leader, President Trump.
News of the Arizona Republican’s failing health has been more widely reported lately as the Senator has retreated to his home to rest.