White House Declines to Apologize for McCain Remark

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she wouldn't validate a leak
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2018 5:40 AM CDT
In this Oct. 31, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters following the weekly Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – White House aide Kelly Sadler reportedly called Meghan McCain Thursday to apologize for an insensitive remark she'd made about McCain's seriously ill father—but the apology wasn't followed up by one from the White House. The New York Times has White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' response to being asked to apologize for Sadler's comment regarding John McCain's opposition to Gina Haspel becoming the next CIA director: "It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway," Sadler said. Said Sanders: "I'm not going to validate a leak one way or the other out of an internal staff meeting."

When asked why she wouldn't just offer up an apology, she replied, "I'm not going to get into a back and forth because, you know, people want to create issues of leaked staff meetings." ABC News characterizes Sanders as having had "multiple opportunities to condemn Sadler’s comments" but declining to do so. Sanders confirmed that Sadler, a special assistant to the president, did not lose her job over the comment, which was made in a room filled with about 20 people, some of whom apparently gasped at the remark. Former Vice President Joe Biden did have something definitive to say on the issue Friday. "People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday," Biden said in a statement. (Read more John McCain stories.)

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