A White House official mocked Sen. John McCain’s brain cancer at an internal meeting on Thursday, saying his opposition to President Donald Trump’s candidate for the CIA “does not matter, anyway he’s dying,” according to reports from press.
Kelly Sadler, a special assistant in the White House communications office, made the comments at a closed-door meeting attended by about two dozen employees, The Hill newspaper said. The Washington Post also reported Sadler’s comments.
McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, responded in a tweet. “I can remind you that my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren,” he said.
John McCain, 81, has been a frequent critic of Trump. In a memo to be published later this month, McCain accuses his Republican colleague Trump of not respecting American values.
McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last year. He has been receiving treatment in his home state of Arizona and has been absent from the Senate for months.
A White House spokesman did not question the report, the Washington Post said.
“We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time,” the White House said in a statement, according to the Post.
On Wednesday, McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and was tortured by his captors, issued a statement urging his fellow senators to vote against Gina Haspel for the director of the CIA.
He said he failed a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to address his concerns about the harsh interrogation program following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on terror suspects.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend of John McCain, told CNN about the White House aide’s comment: “Ms. Sadler, I remind you that John McCain has many friends in the Senate of the United States. United on both sides of the aisle, nobody is laughing in the Senate. “