Top Republican says White House should condemn aid who mocked McCain

Arturo Kim
May 14, 2018

John McCain urged his Senate colleagues to reject Gina Haspel as Central Intelligence Agency director because she had overseen torture of detainees, a White House official reportedly mocked the ailing Arizona Republican, saying his opinion "doesn't matter" because "he's dying anyway".

"I'm not going to validate a leak, one way or the other, out of an internal staff meeting", Sarah Sanders told reporters on Friday, as she insisted that Trump's pugnacious style does not set guidelines for White House discourse.

And McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, weighed in on "The View".

The White House did not deny the comments in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, simply stating "We respect Senator McCain's Service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this hard time".

On Thursday, Cindy McCain tweeted at Sadler: "May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren".

"It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway", Sadler said, according to the official with knowledge of the comment, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because remarks made during internal meetings are meant to remain confidential. John McCain leaked from a closed-door assembly, based on a number of senior White Home officers.

Flake is retiring this year, so Arizona voters are deciding this fall who will replace him, so another election could determine which party will continue to represent the state, but at least one Republican could remain in office until 2020 if a person is appointed by Ducey, also a Republican, to replace McCain. Flake is undecided on Haspel and said McCain's position is weighing on his own decision-making.

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McCain, 81, is in Arizona battling brain cancer. He left Washington in December and underwent surgery last month for an infection.

She added a rebuke of the Trump 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". And I want to say that since my dad has been diagnosed the past - it's nearly a year, July 19th - I really feel like I understand the meaning of life.

Haspel faced grilling Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee about her role overseeing some CIA operations after the September 11 attacks. She went on to clarify that Sadler still works at the White House.

As for the president, he and McCain have had a troubled relationship. McCain famously voted down a White House-led effort to repeal Obamacare.

"No one is condoning the remark", a source in the room argued.

"Given this White House's trail of disrespect toward John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule; she is the epitome of it".

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