White House versus John McCain

Reuters: McCain’s daughter slams White House aide’s ‘he’s dying’ comments

Meghan McCain on Friday questioned how the White House aide who disparaged her ailing father, Republican U.S. Senator John McCain, during a meeting, still has a job.

Kelly Sadler, a White House communications aide, dismissed Senator McCain’s objection to President Donald Trump’s nominee to be CIA director, Gina Haspel, by saying that it “doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” a source familiar with the closed White House meeting told Reuters.

Speaking on the ABC show “The View,” which she co-hosts, Meghan McCain said she wanted to inform Sadler that her father’s battle with brain cancer has made her realize the meaning of life was “not how you die, it is how you live.”

“I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in when that would be acceptable, and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job,” McCain said.

Several of McCain’s fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill have condemned Sadler’s remarks.

Jeff Flake, Arizona’s other senator and a frequent critic of the White House under Trump, tweeted an article about the comments and wrote: “There are no words.”

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst tweeted that the United States should “treat this war hero and his family with the civility and respect they deserve.”

Sadler’s comments were reported the same day that a guest on Fox Business Network, retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, suggested McCain divulged critical information to the North Vietnamese after being tortured.

 A network spokesperson said McInerney would no longer be invited on the Fox Business Network or Fox News.

The Hill: White House official calls Meghan McCain to apologize for remark about father

A White House official called Meghan McCain on Thursday to apologize after she mocked Sen. John McCain’s  cancer diagnosis during a meeting earlier in the day, a source told The Hill.

In a statement, the White House did not deny that Sadler made the remarks, which came amid a discussion of Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA and McCain’s opposition to it.

“We respect Sen. McCain’s service to our nation, and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time,” the White House said.

“People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday.

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. Given this White House’s trail of disrespect towards John and others, this staffer is not an exception to the rule, she is the epitome of it.

Ours children learn from out example. The lingering question is whose example will it be. I am certain it will be John’s.”

– Joe Biden

This may seem like a storm in a swamp, but it is in a context of disrespectful president who has attacked many people. This is Donald Trump speaking about McCain during the presidential campaign:

“I supported him for president. I raised a million dollars for him, that’s a lot of money. I supported him, he lost, he let us down, but you know he lost and i never liked him as much after that cause i don’t like losers.

But…he’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero ’cause he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured ok I hate to tell you.

More recent context: Hatch Apologizes to McCain for Suggesting Trump Should Attend His Funeral

The New York Timeshad reported over the weekend that the ailing McCain has specifically said that he does not want Trump to come to his funeral, preferring Vice-President Pence to attend instead. This makes complete sense, considering that Trump has ridiculed McCain both for his service in Vietnam (“I prefer war heroes who weren’t captured”) and his legislative record, with McCain returning fire.

Utah senator Orrin Hatch apologized to John McCain on Tuesday after suggesting on Monday that the ailing senator should invite President Trump to his funeral, even though McCain has made it clear that he doesn’t want Trump there.

Hatch said on Monday that McCain’s wish for a Trump-free ceremony was “ridiculous,” drawing the ire of Meghan McCain.

“I’d like everybody to take a collective breath and chill out on my dad for a second — especially Orrin Hatch,” McCain said on The View, which she co-hosts.

Hatch then had a change of heart.

“I agree with the daughter,” Hatch told the Washington Post on Tuesday, in a strange turn of phrase. “I shouldn’t have said anything yesterday. I agree a hundred percent with her.” The Post reported that Hatch had also sent McCain a letter expressing his regrets.

A shit fight over a dying Senator does nothing to enhance an awful image of US politics.

An once this shows how much one small remark can impact on both the news cycle and on one person’s reputation and potentially her career.