White House aide Kelly Sadler said Thursday that "it doesn't matter; he's dying anyway" during a private meeting with other communication officers as they discussed McCain's opposition to Gina Haspel as Central Intelligence Agency director.
The White House is now in the midst of another PR crisis following revelations that Kelly Sadler, a special assistant in the White House, reportedly dismissed McCain's criticisms of Central Intelligence Agency nominee Gina Haspel, saying earlier this week that "he's dying, anyway".
About 20 people were in the room; some gasped while a few laughed, according to some who were there, but no one challenged Ms. Sadler at the time. "McCain's service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this hard time".
The Hill newspaper first reported the comment.
Family and friends were outraged and showed their immediate support for the Senator's decision including fellow Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Virg Senator Tim Kaine, John's wife Mrs.Cindy McCain, and his daughter, Meghan McCain.
Sadler is a special assistant to the president. "We're really strong, there's so much more love and prayer and incredible energy being generated towards us than anything negative at all", she responded.
"Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying", McCain wrote in a statement.
Meghan McCain called that a "real ugly nickname" on Friday.
McCain went on to say that her family is "really strong" and they have been surrounded by love, prayer and positive energy during her father's recovery. Most Republican senators are not heeding his advice to reject Haspel, who was chief of base of a detention site where terror suspects were waterboarded.
Haspel faced grilling Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee about her role overseeing some CIA operations after the September 11 attacks. McCain famously voted down a White House-led effort to repeal Obamacare.
The White House still has not offered a public apology for an aide's joke about Sen. "And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to".
As for the president, he and McCain have had a troubled relationship.
With Trump and this White House, it's risky to assume we've hit rock bottom in common decency and civility. "I like people that weren't captured", he said.
Sadler is still employed at the White House, Sanders said Friday.