John McCain

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White House Official Under Fire For Remark That McCain Is 'Dying Anyway'

May 10, 2018 - 8:53 pm

WASHINGTON (1010 WINS/AP) -- A White House official made what some saw as an insensitive comment about ailing U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) at a staff meeting Thursday.

Kelly Sadler was discussing McCain's opposition to President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, when she allegedly claimed, “It doesn't matter” because “he's dying anyway.”

The remarks are according to a person in the room who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.

The White House did not dispute the remark, but said in a statement, “we respect Senator McCain's service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”

The Hill newspaper first reported the comment.

Sadler is a special assistant to the president. She did not respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said McCain is eating, in good humor and keeping tabs on world affairs from Arizona as he regains strength after recent complications in his battle with brain cancer.

Graham spent several days this week with his longtime friend.

McCain's going to "be with us for a while to come," Graham told The Associated Press Thursday.

The 81-year-old senator was diagnosed in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. He left Washington in December and underwent surgery last month for an infection.

Graham says they watched the film "The Man who Shot Liberty Valance" — with McCain narrating along — and talked about the future.

Graham says McCain is on the mend, stabilizing and "always looking for the next battle."

(© 2018 1010 WINS. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)