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Mick Mulvaney Defends WH Aide’s Remark That McCain is ‘Dying’: A ‘Joke’ in a ‘Private Meeting’

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended one White House aide’s offputting comments about Sen. John McCain, saying it wasn’t intended to have that much impact because it was a “joke” that was made in a “private” meeting.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked Mulvaney about what he thought of White House Director of Surrogate and Coalitions Outreach Kelly Sadler saying that it doesn’t matter if McCain opposes President Donald Trump‘s pick to lead the CIA because “he’s dying anyway.”

“They are awful,” Mulvaney said of the comments on Cavuto Live. Despite calling the comment “awful,” Mulvaney then went on to defend his colleague’s mocking of a man with brain cancer.

“That was said in a private meeting inside the White House. It’s not like, you might say something really nasty about me off the air and it really doesn’t have that much impact. You come on-air and say it officially now that’s a problem,” Mulvaney said. “This was a private meeting inside the White House. It was a joke. It was a badly considered joke that she said fell flat.” The budget director later added that he is “disappointed” that someone leaked the comment from the private meeting.

Cavuto noted that some have called for Sadler’s firing in light of the ill-conceived remark.

“Do you think that’s right?” Cavuto asked.

“I don’t,” Mulvaney responded.” You have to have freedom to speak in a private meeting. We have all said things in private that we would never say publicly. I think she handled it appropriately.”

Sadler reportedly called McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, after making the remark.

[image via screengrab]

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