Sen. John McCain’s wife chastised a White House aide Thursday night who made a dismissive remark about the senator’s cancer diagnosis during an internal meeting.
“May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren,” Cindy McCain wrote on Twitter Thursday evening.
McCain (R-Ariz.), the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, released a statement Thursday announcing his opposition to the confirmation of Gina Haspel to be CIA director, writing that her “refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” Haspel’s record at the CIA, chiefly her supervision of a CIA “black site” prison where terrorism suspects were waterboarded, has proven controversial in her confirmation hearings.
Opposition to Haspel by McCain, who was himself tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, prompted White House communications aide Kelly Sadler to remark during a Thursday meeting that “it doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.” Sadler called McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, later Thursday but the call did not go well, according to a source familiar with it.
Sadler's comments were first reported by The Hill.
McCain has been away from the Senate for several weeks receiving treatment for brain cancer and recovering from a related surgery. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close friend of McCain’s who visited him for two days this week, said the Arizona lawmaker is “stabilizing” and has a “healthy appetite,” refuting to some degree speculation that McCain’s battle with brain cancer might keep him from returning to the Senate.
Annie Karni contributed to this report.