Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday criticized the White House for not issuing a statement apologizing for a comment an aide made about Sen. John McCain’s health.
“It is beyond my comprehension. It is one thing in the White House for somebody to say something crude and stupid and disrespectful about an American hero,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.
“It is another thing for them not to apologize. So, it is beyond my comprehension. And I just don't know what goes on in that White House mentality for there not being an apology for that terrible remark.”
White House communications aide Kelly Sadler during a private meeting dismissed McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel, Trump's pick to become the next CIA director, by making a crude joke about the status of the senator’s health. McCain was diagnosed with cancer in July.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Saturday said Sadler’s comments were a “joke” and that “it was a badly considered joke, an awful joke that she said fell flat." He also said the report was intended to hurt Sadler’s status.
Sadler’s comments were denounced by some prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
McCain this past week announced his opposition to Haspel's nomination due to her role with the CIA’s use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which McCain and others have labeled as torture.
Sanders also told Jake Tapper that he agrees with McCain’s position on Haspel and will oppose her as CIA director.
“I would agree with John McCain … and tell you what our leaders in the armed forces say. If the United States condones torture for other people, then that subjects our own men and women who are captured to be tortured as well,” he said. “ I have serious reservations about this nominee. And I will oppose her.“