Senators Defend McCain After WH Aide Jokes About Him Dying: ‘Unacceptable…to Cruelly Mock Veterans’

A day after news broke that a White House aide reportedly mocked Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) cancer diagnosis, his colleagues in the Senate have quickly rushed to his defense.

“Our nation should be grateful for the exemplary service and sacrifice of @SenJohnMcCain, and treat this war hero and his family with the civility and respect they deserve,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) tweeted shortly after the White House aide’s controversial comments began circulating. 

According to The Hill, communications office special assistant Kelly Sadler lamented McCain’s call for senators to reject President Donald Trump’s CIA director nominee, Gina Haspel, during a closed-door staff meeting on Thursday, saying: “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

While the White House has not denied that Sadler made those comments, it did provide the following statement: “We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation, and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”

Other senators also took to Twitter to support McCain, who’s currently recovering from brain surgery related to brain cancer, including fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who tweeted an article detailing the comments with the simple caption: “There are no words.”

“Unacceptable for Trump Admin to cruelly mock veterans like @SenJohnMcCain. They may disagree w/ him on issues, but he gave so much for our nation. He & his family deserve respect,” Sen. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.) wrote on Twitter. 

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said the comments from the Trump administration represented a “new record set for disgusting.” 

Following the controversy surrounding the comments, McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, also came to her husband’s defense, calling out Sadler on Twitter: “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren,” she wrote.

The senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, addressed the issue on “The View” on Friday.

“I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in when that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job,” McCain said

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