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: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 58°
Columbus
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 58°
Oxford
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Starkville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 54°
A little bit of disturbed air moves through our area on Thursday evening. This could give us a few scattered showers. Beyond that small chance, things look good in the weather forecast through our Saturday.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather