News

Politics & Policy

Lawmakers Outraged over White House Aide’s Mockery of McCain

Senator John McCain speaks at a press conference about the National Defense Authorization Act in Washington, October 25, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have harshly denounced White House communications aide Kelly Sadler’s gleeful characterization of Senator John McCain’s ailing health.

During a White House communications meeting Thursday, Sadler flippantly dismissed concerns about McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel’s confirmation to lead the CIA.

“It doesn’t matter. He’s dying anyway,” Sadler said, according to The Hill.

McCain’s fellow Arizonan, Republican senator Jeff Flake, responded Friday, tweeting simply “There are no words.”

Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) followed suit, tweeting, “Our nation should be grateful for the exemplary service and sacrifice of [McCain], and treat this war hero and his family with the civility and respect they deserve.”

GOP Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina slammed the comments as “outrageous and unacceptable” in a Friday tweet. “It’s a sad day in this country when White House officials are mocking a man who was tortured as a prisoner of war,” Jones said. “He’s more than earned the right to speak out on these matters. A public apology should be issued immediately.”

Democratic lawmakers, as well as former vice president Joe Biden, joined their Republican colleagues in defending McCain.

Biden cast the comments as broadly reflective of the character of White House personnel. “People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday,” he said in a Friday statement. “Given this White House’s trail of disrespect toward John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule; she is the epitome of it.”

Senator Jack Reed (D., R.I.) accused Sadler of “cruelly mock[ing] veterans” and called the behavior “unacceptable.” Reed’s fellow Rhode Island Democrat, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, took to Twitter to ask, “Is part of being low and small that it’s irresistible to show just how low and small you are?”

“Our politics may be different but John McCain is an American hero,” tweeted Democratic representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia. “The vile and repugnant attacks we’ve seen from POTUS, WH staff and the far right are disgusting and show how small they are next to this honorable man.”

The White House has neither denied nor apologized for the comments. McCain’s daughter, Meghan, questioned that lack of response Friday morning.

“I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in that that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job,” she said on ABC’s The View, which she co-hosts. “My father’s legacy is going to be talked about for hundreds and hundreds of years. These people are nothing-burgers. Nobody’s going to remember you.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

The League of Morons

Let’s look back at the two and a half years when the greatest country on earth went crazy. What was that all about? How did it happen? How could so much have happened based on so little? Did we learn anything? It’ll take a keenly observant artist to put it all in perspective. Fortunately two artists have ... Read More

The League of Morons

Let’s look back at the two and a half years when the greatest country on earth went crazy. What was that all about? How did it happen? How could so much have happened based on so little? Did we learn anything? It’ll take a keenly observant artist to put it all in perspective. Fortunately two artists have ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More
Education

Science, Coronavirus, and Notre Dame

A few weeks back, the University of Notre Dame outlined its plan for reopening campus in the fall, detailing the way in which the administration hopes to bring students back to South Bend to resume in-person classes. Like the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the U.S., Notre Dame shifted all ... Read More
Education

Science, Coronavirus, and Notre Dame

A few weeks back, the University of Notre Dame outlined its plan for reopening campus in the fall, detailing the way in which the administration hopes to bring students back to South Bend to resume in-person classes. Like the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the U.S., Notre Dame shifted all ... Read More

How to Avoid a China-Led World Order

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, it has opened our eyes to China’s rapidly expanding role in the international order and global economy. Beijing’s outsize role in the World Health Organization has come under attack, as has the muscular diplomacy used by China’s foreign ministry in responding to ... Read More

How to Avoid a China-Led World Order

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, it has opened our eyes to China’s rapidly expanding role in the international order and global economy. Beijing’s outsize role in the World Health Organization has come under attack, as has the muscular diplomacy used by China’s foreign ministry in responding to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Is Biden Lying about Taxes?

A number of commenters to this post raise the possibility that Biden is lying when he says he won't raise taxes on households making less than $400,000. He might be. Maybe as president he would propose a tax increase on people making more than that, watch congressional Democrats lower the threshold, and then say ... Read More
Economy & Business

Is Biden Lying about Taxes?

A number of commenters to this post raise the possibility that Biden is lying when he says he won't raise taxes on households making less than $400,000. He might be. Maybe as president he would propose a tax increase on people making more than that, watch congressional Democrats lower the threshold, and then say ... Read More