UPDATED with Joe Biden statement: Meghan McCain this morning marveled that White House aide Kelly Sadler still had a job after cracking in the office on Thursday that Sen. John McCain’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s CIA director pick did not matter because “he’s dying anyway.”
“Kelly, news flash, We’re all dying…It’s not how you die, it’s how you live,” said the senator’s daughter, who is a panelist on the ABC daytime talk show.
“I’m not scared of death any more, and whatever you want to say in this kind of environment,” Meghan McCain continued, addressing Sadler. “The thing that surprised me most is, I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in where that would be acceptable, and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job.”
The View Den Mom Whoopi Goldberg had stronger words, kicking off the program saying, “It’s the Friday before Mother’s Day, We kinda thought we would be talking about cheerier stuff” but instead would have to start the broadcast “addressing the insanely despicable ” remark “made by this little White House adviser Kelly Sadler.”
Sadler is in charge of surrogate communications, and meant it as a joke, “but it fell flat,” a White House spokesperson spent yesterday explaining to TV news outlets. Sadler reportedly called Meghan McCain on Thursday to apologize; it reportedly did not go well.
Meanwhile, White House, Trumpily, did not apologize, but did issue statement about Meghan’s father, who is battling terminal brain cancer:
“We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation, and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”
Meghan McCain said she would wait until today to address Sadler’s remark on today’s The View.
In anticipation of that headline-grabber, CNN did a segment in which one of its Republican talking heads suggested the “joke” stemmed from the atmosphere created at the White House by “silver spoon draft dodger” Donald Trump, calling Sadler’s continued employment at The White House a disgrace.
Trump famously mocked McCain while campaigning, snarking that McCain was only considered a war hero because he was captured, adding, “I like people that weren’t captured.” Since then he has trashed the ill McCain for having to Washington last summer to literally give a thumbs down as the Senate voted on a plan to kill Obamacare, killing it.
Sen. McCain, who was tortured during his time as a POW during the Vietnam War, on Wednesday had issued a statement asking fellow senators to vote down Trump’s CIA director nominee Gina Haspel. In his statement he called her a “patriot,”but that her “role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing.” He described as “disqualifying” her “refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality” at her confirmation hearing.
In advance of Meghan’s remarks this morning, others jumped in to defend the senator against Sadler.
CIA Director candidate Haspel issued a statement Thursday evening: “I have the utmost respect for Senator McCain, and I appreciate the thoughtfulness with which he has approached this nomination process.”
And South Carolina’s GOP Sen., and close John McCain friend, Lindsey Graham warned Sadler: “May I remind you that John McCain has a lot of friends in the United States Senate on both sides of the aisle. Nobody is laughing in the Senate.”
Adding his support on Friday, Dem. former Veep and longtime McCain pal Joe Biden: “People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday,” adding that, as McCain fights for his life, “he deserves better — so much better.”
Sadler’s crack epitomizes the White House’s “trail of disrespect,” Biden added.