White House should apologize for comment about McCain, Graham says
The White House should be doing more to address inappropriate comments an aide made about the health of Arizona Sen. John McCain, said his longtime friend and colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“John McCain can be criticized for any political decision he’s ever made or any vote he’s cast,” Graham said, “but he’s an American hero and I think most Americans would like to see the Trump administration do better in situations like this.”
Graham (R-SC) made his comments Sunday morning on political news show “Face the Nation,” adding if it had been anyone in his office, he would apologize on their behalf.
White House aide Kelly Sadler reportedly said last week that McCain was “dying anyway,” and his objection to Gina Haspel’s nomination for CIA director didn’t matter. Graham called the comment “disgusting.”
Sadler was said to have made the remark during a staff meeting and it was leaked to the press.
McCain, 81, has been battling brain cancer since July 2017. He has been recuperating at the family’s Arizona ranch from treatment and recent abdominal surgery and not been in Washington since December.
“If it was a joke, it was a terrible joke,” Graham said. “I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate, that’s not who we are in the Trump administration,” Graham said.
Sadler, a special assistant to President Donald Trump, was still working at the White House over the weekend. CNN reported that she told McCain’s daughter, morning show co-host Meghan McCain, in a phone call that she would publicly apologize.
“My father’s legacy is going to be talked about for hundreds and hundreds of years,” Meghan McCain said on “The View,” where she is a co-host. “These people? Nothingburgers.”
John McCain, a Navy pilot whose plane was shot down during a bombing mission in North Vietnam, was captured in 1967 and held prisoner for over five years.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blasted the leaking of the comments.
Graham later said it was up to Trump whether to apologize for the staffer.
Deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Monday that he’d been told Sadler had contacted the McCains late last week and that the aide had been “dealt with internally.”