Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that "decency" in the White House had hit "rock bottom" following a White House aide's joke about Sen. John McCain's health.
"People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday," Biden said in a striking statement.
The statement was in response to White House aide Kelly Sadler's comments following the Arizona Republican'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. 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."
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment later Friday on Sadler's remark, saying, "I'm not going to comment on an internal staff meeting."
McCain announced last year that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer and has been spending time with family and loved ones while he receives treatment in Arizona.
"John McCain is a genuine hero -- a man of valor whose sacrifices for his country are immeasurable. As he fights for his life, he deserves better -- so much better," Biden said.
"Given this White House's trail of disrespect toward John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule; she is the epitome of it."
Biden's son, Beau Biden, was also diagnosed with and died from the same type of brain cancer McCain is diagnosed.
Biden has made many public statements supporting the McCain family and last visited McCain at his home in Arizona last month, according to McCain's wife, Cindy McCain. In an appearance on "The View" in December, Biden said he and McCain are like "two brothers."
Although they were once political rivals in the 2008 presidential campaign, Biden and McCain have formed a close relationship, with Biden calling McCain "one of my best friends."