WH press secretary berates staff for leak of Sadler's McCain comment

Erika Holt
May 14, 2018

John McCain's opposition to Central Intelligence Agency nominee Gina Haspel saying, "It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway", at a meeting of White House communications staffers Thursday.

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

John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, slammed Fox Business host Charles Payne, writing, "Please choose your guest more wisely".

"The president, as I mentioned just a moment ago, supports all Americans".

The fallout dominated yesterday's White House press briefing and had some veterans and a U.S. Naval Academy graduate steaming. John McCain showed when "decency would hit rock bottom with this administration". We're all dying. I'm dying, you're dying, we're all dying.

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"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. "McCain and I appreciate the thoughtfulness with which he has approached this nomination process".

A White House spokesman did not dispute the report and issued a statement on behalf of the White House: "We respect Senator McCain's service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this hard time". "McCain's service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this hard time".

She was reacting to the comment made by White House communications aide Kelly Sadler. A Fox spokeswoman said Friday that retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney will no longer be allowed on the network. "The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President [Dick] Cheney said".

Haspel has come under fire for her past role in the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on radical Islamic terrorists after the 9/11 attacks.

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. McCain, 81, has been battling brain cancer and has reportedly made arrangements for his funeral.

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