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Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official dismissed a view expressed by Sen. John McCain about President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee, saying Thursday at a staff meeting that “it doesn’t matter” because “he’s dying anyway,” two people in the room told The Associated Press.

Kelly Sadler was discussing McCain’s opposition to Trump’s pick for CIA director, Gina Haspel, when she made the comment, according to the two people, who described feeling shocked and stunned by the remark. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door communications staff meeting.

The White House did not dispute the remark. In a statement, they said, “We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”

The Hill newspaper first reported the comment.

The 81-year-old Arizona Republican, who has spent three decades in the Senate, was diagnosed in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. He left Washington in December and underwent surgery last month for an infection.

Sadler is a special assistant to the president. She did not respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

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.”

Sen. McCain, a Navy pilot who was beaten in captivity during the Vietnam War, has urged his fellow senators to reject Haspel. He said Wednesday that he believes she’s a patriot who loves the country but “her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”

Haspel faced grilling Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee about her role overseeing some CIA operations after the Sept. 11 attacks. She told senators that she doesn’t believe torture works as an interrogation technique.

As for the president, he and McCain have had a troubled relationship.

As a GOP presidential candidate in 2015, Trump said McCain was “not a war hero” because he was captured in Vietnam, adding, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Last July, McCain became the deciding vote against the GOP health care repeal with a dramatic thumbs-down.

Trump later told the Conservative Political Action Conference that “except for one Senator, who came into a room at three o’clock in the morning and went like that” —Trump gave a thumbs-down — “we would have had health care (reform), too.”

The crowd booed, and Trump added, “I won’t use his name.”


This version corrects next-to-last paragraph that the health care vote was last July, not December.



(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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10 thoughts on “White House Aid Dismissed McCain View, Says ‘He’s Dying’

  1. Ted Gravely on said:

    No tears, and he is dying. Cindy McCain has some nerve. She and John are adulterers. I’m sure they have been forgiven, but getting involved with a married man who is having martial problems is rich. So for her to tweet “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.” That hypocrite should have remembered that years ago when she started a relationship with him before his marriage ended. His first wife Carol waited for him to come back from Vietnam. When John saw her after the car accident she was no longer wife material. I get that he is trying to clear his conscience- God will receive him, but to lecture someone else is priceless. They don’t need to apologize- he did his dirt and now they are pushing the dirt on him while he is still living.

  2. October on said:

    I guess McCain is trying to clear his conscious before meeting his maker. Surprisingly he had nothing to say during the Bush years in the WH. Why didn’t his conscious bother him then?

  3. MariAnne Bolton on said:

    Whenever other White people go ‘off-the-Grain’, Mainstream-White-America begin to treat them just like they have ALWAYS treated Black People: INHUMAN. In street terms, Sen. McCain, they’re treating YOU Just like an ‘N-Word’. How does it feel? For the record, Sen. McCain, I respect you for your Service to this Country. However, there are some Black people who also Served this Country, as well, yet they weren’t allowed to use most public facilities because of the color of their skin. So, I just wanted to remind everyone that this is ‘NOTHING NEW’ for ‘Mainstream-White-America’. I don’t understand why everyone is so surprised at the way they’re treating Sen. McCain. He went ‘off-the-Grain’. He didn’t say what they wanted him to say. In other words, he SPOKE THE TRUTH.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      Real talk MariAnne,
      There were black soldiers who came home form Vietnam and were treated like dogs, what about the Tuskegee Air men and the countless number of unnamed black soldiers who fought and served this racist ass country believing that their service would humanize them and earn them the dignity of being treated like men. McCain was a P.O.W. but at least he was treated with respect and given a job in the Senate. I wasn’t surprised by these comments look at the way trump is throwing cabinet members under the bus firing them because they won’t go along with his racism and criminal activity. And you’re right if they treat black and brown people less than human how hard is it to do it to each other. Like I said they eat their own.

  4. Whoever this Kelly chick is-SHE IS ONE COLD HEARTED BITCH!!!!!!!!!

    Although Senator McCain may not be in the best of health-HE IS NOT DEAD.
    Don’t count him out or DISMISS his opinions!!!!!!!!!

  5. Perry on said:

    John McCain regardless of his party affiliation has always been an honorable man. I will always remember how he stopped that lady from disparaging Obama when he ran for President, by taking the microphone from her. We do not have that kind of character in Washington today. I agree he is most definitely mentally ill. You expect those kind of remarks from someone in this crazy administration.

  6. African American Woman on said:

    I’m not Republican, nor am I a vitriolic racist, but I did read McCain’s memoir if his time as a POW. I have respect for his as a person, a military soldier, and what he endured during the Vietnam War. The war, though, was propaganda that caused the loss of life for so many young American soldiers, who falsely believed that this country cared about them…NOT! Not to mention the loss of life of too many innocent Vietnamese. I hate that Muhammad Ali paid a price he didn’t owe because he stood up, rightly, against this deeply flawed nation.

  7. Passing Through!! on said:

    No sympathy for McCain, hell he’s one of them and unfortunately the RepuliKKKan party will eat their own to stay in lock step with a mentally-ill racist they call a president who’s destroying the party. Serves them all right.

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