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WH Official Who Dismissed McCain as ‘Dying Anyway’ Reportedly Had Tough Call With Meghan

The White House did not deny that an official said Sen. John McCain’s opposition to CIA director nominee Gina Haspel was irrelevant because he’s “dying anyway” in a closed-door meeting on Thursday.

The Hill first reported that Kelly Sadler, a special assistant to Trump and former editor at conservative outlet the Washington Times, made the remark deriding the Arizona senator, who is battling brain cancer.

McCain said he would oppose the nomination of Haspel over her comments on the U.S. enhanced interrogation program, stating “her role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing,” and “her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”

“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler said in response during a meeting with the White House comms team, according to a number of sources who spoke to The Hill and other outlets. The joke apparently did not land well in the room.

The White House issued a statement on the reports, in which they did not deny it was made.

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

At least they’re making a bid for honesty.

Politico’s Annie Karnie reported that Sadler called McCain’s daughter Meghan on Thursday — but “it didn’t go so well.”

NY Times’s Maggie Haberman reported the reactions to Sadler’s comment were varied:

Watch CNN cover the news above.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin