White House doesn't apologize for aide's comment mocking McCain

Paul Morigi  WireImage via Getty Images

Paul Morigi WireImage via Getty Images

On Saturday's broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "Cavuto Live", OMB Director Mick Mulvaney responded to White House aide Kelly Sadler's comments about Senator John McCain (R-AZ) by stating the comment was "a badly considered joke, an very bad joke that she said fell flat".

Mercedes Schlapp, the White House director of strategic communications, said Friday during a White House meeting that she stood by Sadler, Axios reported.

"I'm not going to validate a leak out of an internal staff meeting one way or the other", she said.

Meghan McCain, the senator's daughter, responded on "The View", the ABC television show where she is a host. Some colleagues said afterward that they were unhappy she made the remark, and the White House issued a written statement Thursday expressing respect for Mr. McCain.

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Now that McCain, 81, is dying of brain cancer and is planning his funeral, criticizing him is considered tasteless.

Even by today's hyper-partisan, anything-goes standard in politics, the crass comment attributed to a White House aide about Sen.

A Democrat who unsuccessfully ran in Arizona's 8th Congressional District race during a March special election - and has vowed another run for the seat - tweeted a line from Biden's statement and added her own commentary. He left Washington in December and few expect him to return. Pompeo floats North Korea aid for denuclearization GOP lawmaker: Trump aide's joke about McCain's health was "a moral failing" MORE (R-Ariz.) became public.

Sen. McCain, a Navy pilot who was beaten in captivity during the Vietnam War, has urged his fellow senators to reject Haspel. "I don't call it torture, let's call it 'really mean interrogation techniques.' They're not on the medieval rack, this isn't the end of Braveheart".

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"I don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and you can come to work the next day and still have a job", McCain said.

"My father's legacy is going to be talked about for hundreds and hundreds of years", she added.

After watching Haspel's Senate testimony Wednesday, McCain issued a statement saying that although Haspel is "a patriot" and a longtime public servant, her past work at the Central Intelligence Agency overseeing interrogation programs was "disturbing". "I like people that weren't captured", he said.

As for the president, he and McCain have had a troubled relationship.

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Echoing Sanders' private comments to staffers, Mulvaney said the leak was created to hurt Sadler and "completely ignored the harm it would do to the McCain family, which is doubly inconsiderate". "That is something we try to do in both word and action".

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