WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official reportedly made what some saw as an insensitive comment about ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain at a staff meeting Thursday.
Kelly Sadler was discussing McCain’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, when she allegedly claimed, “It doesn’t matter” because “he’s dying anyway.”
That’s according to a person in the room who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.
The White House did not dispute the remark, but said in a statement, “we respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”
The Hill newspaper first reported the comment.
Sadler is a special assistant to the president. She did not respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.
McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, responded with a tweet tagged to Sadler: “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.”
The 81-year-old senator was diagnosed in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. He left Washington in December and underwent surgery last month for an infection.