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White House aide joked of 'dying' McCain

White House aide Kelly Sadler responded to Sen. John McCain's opposition to President Donald Trump's pick for CIA dir...

Posted: May 11, 2018 8:46 AM
Updated: May 11, 2018 8:46 AM

White House aide Kelly Sadler responded to Sen. John McCain's opposition to President Donald Trump's pick for CIA director by saying Thursday morning that "he's dying anyway," a White House official told CNN.

The official said Sadler, who is in charge of surrogate communications, meant it as a joke, "but it fell flat."

McCain announced last year that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and he issued a statement Wednesday calling on his fellow senators to oppose Gina Haspel, Trump's nominee for CIA director, whose ties to the use of interrogation methods widely considered torture have drawn significant criticism.

Asked about Sadler's comment, a White House official said, "We respect Senator McCain's service to our nation, and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time."

Sadler called the senator's daughter Meghan McCain on Thursday to apologize for the remark, a source close to the situation told CNN, although it's unclear what her response was.

The Hill first reported on Sadler's remark.

McCain called Haspel a "patriot" in his statement in Wednesday but referenced her record and testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee to implore the Senate to vote down her nomination.

"Ms. Haspel's role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing," McCain's statement read. "Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination."

Haspel said in a statement Thursday evening that she has the "utmost respect" for McCain.

"I have the utmost respect for Senator McCain, and I appreciate the thoughtfulness with which he has approached this nomination process."

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close friend of John McCain, said of the White House aide's comment, "Ms. Sadler, may I remind you that John McCain has a lot of friends in the United States Senate on both sides of the aisle. Nobody is laughing in the Senate."

Sadler's remark about the Arizona Republican echoed Trump's remark at the outset of his campaign for president, when he mocked McCain's time as a prisoner of war by saying, "I like people that weren't captured."

The divide between the two came up again last summer, when McCain traveled to Washington as the Senate considered a repeal of Obamacare and offered a thumbs down to help sink the effort.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 29684

Reported Deaths: 1103
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds238239
DeSoto148616
Madison126734
Jones110449
Neshoba98171
Lauderdale90079
Rankin88812
Forrest85142
Harrison84210
Scott76215
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Holmes54441
Wayne53513
Lee53218
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Washington5319
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Lowndes47212
Lincoln44334
Lamar4407
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Pike40712
Monroe38830
Lafayette3774
Attala35823
Sunflower3467
Newton3389
Covington3345
Panola3256
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Adams29318
Simpson2833
Pontotoc2736
Marion27011
Tate2709
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Claiborne25610
Jasper2566
Winston2546
Noxubee2538
Pearl River24832
Clay24710
Marshall2173
Smith21611
Clarke20524
Coahoma1916
Union1919
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Kemper17714
Lawrence1701
Yalobusha1677
Carroll16411
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Humphreys1329
Calhoun1284
Tippah12811
Hancock12613
Webster12610
Montgomery1242
Tallahatchie1224
Jefferson Davis1094
Prentiss1023
Greene1018
Jefferson993
Tunica933
Wilkinson929
Amite892
George783
Tishomingo741
Quitman730
Choctaw724
Perry654
Alcorn631
Stone571
Franklin412
Sharkey340
Benton300
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4802152
Montgomery3947103
Mobile3904134
Tuscaloosa218842
Marshall168010
Lee130237
Madison12717
Shelby117623
Morgan10475
Walker90524
Franklin87814
Dallas8689
Elmore86414
Baldwin8289
Etowah70713
DeKalb6945
Butler62328
Chambers61227
Tallapoosa58369
Autauga56012
Russell5190
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4736
Limestone4660
Lowndes46321
Houston4614
Cullman4354
Pike4175
Colbert3836
Coffee3702
Bullock3679
St. Clair3472
Barbour3452
Covington3437
Escambia3326
Calhoun3225
Hale30621
Marengo30011
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Wilcox2898
Sumter28412
Clarke2726
Dale2680
Jackson2632
Winston2463
Monroe2312
Chilton2282
Blount2261
Pickens2226
Marion21413
Randolph2019
Conecuh1977
Choctaw19512
Bibb1861
Greene1838
Macon1819
Perry1621
Henry1313
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1050
Washington1047
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Geneva780
Lamar751
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Clay622
Coosa581
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