Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com
White House aide Kelly Sadler said Sen. John McCain’s opposition to Trump’s nominee for CIA director didn’t matter because McCain is “dying anyway” was repugnant. In fact, it was so egregious that even the hosts of “Fox & Friends” called it out on live TV.
On Sunday morning’s edition of Trump’s favorite “news” show, guest host Ed Henry pressed White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley hard about the remark.
Henry referenced Melania Trump’s new anti-cyberbullying initiative and asked Gidley about the dissonance between that and Sadler’s comment.
“When one of your colleagues in the White House communication shop decided, at a meeting, to joke that John McCain’s opinion doesn’t matter because he’s dying of brain cancer, do you think that was kind?” Henry asked.
“Look, I wasn’t in the meeting, I didn’t hear the comment,” Gidley began. When Henry cut him off, noting that he had “heard the comment now,” Gidley again demurred.
“Right, but Ed, I don’t know if the comment was even made or not,” Gidley said.
Henry noted that Sadler has already called McCain’s daughter Meghan to apologize. Gidley then confirmed the implication from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that the White House is more troubled by the leak of the comment than by the comment itself.
“Look, those comments, whether they were made or not made, there was some reports in there obviously too about the internal workings of that meeting that just shouldn’t be made public,” Gidley said.
But co-host Abby Huntsman didn’t let him get away with that dismissal.
“Why not just come out and apologize?” Huntsman asked. “Why not just come out and make a statement saying ‘We apologize about this horrific joke,’ simple as that?”
Gidley again tried to cast doubt on whether the comment had been made. And he claimed that any apology was between “Sadler herself and the McCain family.”
During a closed-door meeting with staff, Sanders was also reportedly more upset about the leak than the horrific comment. And at the same meeting, White House spokesperson Mercedes Schlapp reportedly told Sanders and the press team, “You can put this on the record… I stand with Kelly Sadler.”
Now the White House is saying out loud, and in public, what we all already knew. Trump has shown his contempt for the sacrifices of American heroes like John McCain since long before he took office. And he has continued to do so ever since.
And it seems everyone working around him is following his appalling lead.