Senate Republicans blast White House over fallout from staffer's McCain comments

Several senior Senate Republicans -- including key members of leadership -- criticized the White House's handling of ...

Posted: Jun 6, 2018 10:07 AM
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 10:07 AM

Several senior Senate Republicans -- including key members of leadership -- criticized the White House's handling of an impolitic comment made last week by a junior aide about Sen. John McCain "dying" and the administration's refusal to apologize and move on.

"I think an apology is appropriate," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said firmly.

When asked from who, Cornyn said, "From the person who said that really dumb thing."

Cornyn said he would have preferred the White House already put to rest the story, now five days old, which has pitted Trump officials against one of the most revered members of the Senate who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Despite his illness, the Arizona Republican has remained a vocal and active critic of Trump's, which may explain why the White House is reluctant to make peace.

"It was an unfortunate circumstance," said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking Republican about the comment from White House aide Kelly Sadler who dismissed McCain's concerns about CIA director nominee Gina Haspel because "he's dying anyway."

But Thune seemed equally frustrated the White House hadn't issued a quick apology and stemmed the political damage.

"Obviously, what was said was wrong and inappropriate. It would have been a lot of easier if they had just nipped it right away and she came out with an apology," Thune said.

Rank and file Republicans agreed.

"I just think they need to afford him the respect that he deserves. He's a war hero. He's a war hero. And despite any differences he should be treated with respect," said Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

"You know everything happens for a reason and sometimes the reason is you're stupid and made a bad decision," said Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, who called on Sadler to apologize.

"If it hurt his feelings they ought to apologize because he's in bad condition and I think we want to do everything we can to help him have as good a life as we possibly can," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, of Utah, the most senior Senate Republican.

Last week, after he created a mini-firestorm himself by telling CNN it was "ridiculous" McCain doesn't want Trump to attend his funeral, Hatch quickly apologized to the ailing senator and his family. Asked if the White House could learn from his swift handling of the matter, Hatch said yes.

"I think they should because if you make a mistake it's better to admit it and move on. There's no way you can make any comments about John's condition because it's a sad condition and we're all pulling for him and praying for him," Hatch said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 266598

Reported Deaths: 5852
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17807191
Hinds16967332
Harrison14298204
Rankin11280221
Jackson10976190
Lee9088145
Madison8619169
Jones6782118
Forrest6236124
Lauderdale6128192
Lowndes5564120
Lafayette5229101
Lamar507465
Washington4951125
Bolivar4149109
Oktibbeha409482
Panola388281
Pontotoc378560
Warren3698103
Monroe3693110
Marshall358570
Union357764
Pearl River3508106
Neshoba3499154
Leflore3122109
Lincoln307688
Hancock296362
Sunflower293075
Tate281162
Alcorn273554
Pike271081
Itawamba270063
Scott260849
Yazoo257156
Prentiss254554
Coahoma251555
Copiah250749
Tippah250150
Simpson243872
Leake238467
Marion225973
Grenada224272
Covington222473
Adams215371
Wayne215034
Winston207771
George204839
Newton200046
Attala197464
Tishomingo195661
Chickasaw189644
Jasper182538
Holmes172268
Clay167537
Tallahatchie157535
Stone152925
Clarke148662
Calhoun141822
Smith130726
Yalobusha123835
Walthall115037
Greene114529
Noxubee114126
Montgomery112736
Lawrence107617
Carroll106922
Perry105331
Amite102426
Webster97424
Claiborne89725
Tunica89321
Jefferson Davis88930
Benton86523
Humphreys84824
Kemper81020
Quitman7149
Franklin70717
Choctaw63813
Wilkinson59925
Jefferson57121
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
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