Would you feel like it was "just politics" if your cancer-stricken father was derided by a White House staffer - in this case, Kelly Sadler - as irrelevant because "he's dying anyway"? "There are so many accolades I could heap on a John McCain". "That's why they call him 'Songbird John'". "His legacy is so long that John McCain is a hero to us and. all of our thoughts and prayers are with John and his family right now at this time". "We have a respect for all Americans".
The press secretary described what the White House envisions as a measure that would address things such as enhancing border security, closing "loopholes" in existing immigration laws, and addressing the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
"I'm not going to comment on an internal staff meeting", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a White House briefing Friday afternoon.
"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense", McCain said. She added that "we have respect for all Americans" without mentioning McCain by name.
The White House hasn't denied her comment and multiple spokespeople have not responded to questions from NBC News about Sadler's future in the administration. And she disputed the suggestion that Trump himself is setting a hurtful tone among his aides with his own disparaging remarks about McCain, who is being treated for brain cancer, and others.
Her family, she said on the show, is "really strong" and "there's so much more love and prayer and fantastic energy being generated towards us than anything negative at all". Instead, she chose to slam the White House aide who leaked details of the meeting.
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McCain's wife, Cindy, responded with a tweet tagged to Sadler, "May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren". "There is so much more love and prayer and awesome energy being generated towards us than anything negative at all, and I feel so blessed".
That staffer was Kelly Sadler, a "special" Assistant to the President in the Office of Communications at the White House.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a Republican and former US Air Force pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan, blasted Sadler. "It happened yesterday", Biden said in a statement to NBC News. Fox Business Network host Charles Payne apologized to McCain and his family on Twitter for failing to intervene in the conversation, saying he hadn't caught the remarks.
"I guess the fish stinks from the head, because it's easy to say something like that and not think that 'ooh, that is a wrong-headed comment to make out loud.'".
"John McCain is a genuine hero - a man of valor whose sacrifices for his country are immeasurable". McCain - a Navy officer who was captured in Vietnam after his aircraft crashed and was tortured as a prisoner of war - urged his Senate colleagues to oppose Haspel's nomination.