White House can't stop controversy over staffer's John McCain comment

The White House hoped Monday to put to rest a five-day controversy over a crass remark about Sen. John McCain. But th...

Posted: May 15, 2018 7:18 AM
Updated: May 15, 2018 7:18 AM

The White House hoped Monday to put to rest a five-day controversy over a crass remark about Sen. John McCain. But the matter seemed poised to continue festering as the staffer in question, Kelly Sadler, declined to offer a public apology for saying the Arizona Republican is "dying anyway."

Instead, deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Sadler's remark -- made last week during an internal staff meeting -- had been "dealt with internally" and wouldn't comment further.

Over the weekend, a number of Republican lawmakers and officials expressed puzzlement at how the White House could allow Sadler's remark to go without a public apology.

In a phone call last week, Sadler called the senator's daughter Meghan McCain to apologize. In that conversation, Sadler indicated she would issue a public apology as well, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

But such a public acknowledgment of regret hasn't yet come forward, spurring the story into another week.

"This is an internal matter. It's being addressed internally and I don't have anything further to add," Shah told reporters at Monday's press briefing. He added later that Sadler remains a White House employee, and that she had come to work on Monday.

Political figures have condemned the remark, including many Republicans. Speaking Sunday on CBS, Sen. Lindsey Graham -- a South Carolina Republican who's a close friend to McCain -- said he wanted someone in the White House to denounce the remark publicly.

"If it was a joke, it was a terrible joke. I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate, that's not who we are in the Trump administration," he said on "Face the Nation."

Meghan McCain addressed the remark again during Monday's "The View" on ABC, where she is a host.

"People are going to have to answer for their own conscience," she said.

Inside the White House, blame has been cast on the person who leaked the comment rather than on Sadler herself. On Sunday, director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney told Fox News it was a "badly considered joke that she said fell flat," and he bemoaned whoever leaked the internal conversation.

Shah echoed those gripes on Monday, saying it was unfortunate that staffers can't feel comfortable speaking their minds.

"If you aren't able in internal meetings to speak your mind, or convey thoughts, or say anything that you feel without feeling like your colleagues will betray you, that creates a very difficult work environment," he said. "I think anyone who works anywhere would recognize that."

Huntsville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 61°
Florence
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 65°
Fayetteville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events