Dem to White House: Leaks could be prevented if officials were 'behaving normally'
© Cameron Lancaster

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.) chided White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Saturday, arguing that leaks from White House staff might stop if officials behaved "normally."

Lieu, one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily immigration detention centers could be at capacity within days: report Trump likely to meet with Putin in July: report DOJ requests military lawyers to help prosecute immigration crimes: report MORE's most vocal critics in Congress, offered the mocking advice after Sanders reportedly scolded her staff for allowing the leak of a derisive comment about Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's America fights back Mellman: Trump can fix it GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats MORE (R-Ariz.) this week.

"One way to prevent leaks is if Administration officials stopped saying demeaning things, stopped wasting taxpayer funds, and started behaving normally. Then the leaks wouldn't be of interest to the American people. Get it?" Lieu tweeted.

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The Hill first reported Thursday that White House aide Kelly Sadler said in a private meeting that McCain's vocal opposition to the confirmation of Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, "doesn't matter" because "he's dying anyway." 

McCain, 81, is in Arizona battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, with members of his family panning the White House aide's comment on Friday.

While Sanders apparently characterized the comment as "unacceptable," she was reported to have been more upset that the comment leaked in the first place. 

White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Mulvaney defends family separations at border Consumer watchdog agency needs to get back to doing its job MORE similarly dismissed the aide's comment as a "bad joke" on Saturday but argued during a Fox News appearance that the bigger issue was that the remark had been leaked.

"The leak was designed to hurt that person. Also, it completely ignored the harm it would do to the McCain family, which is doubly inconsiderate," Mulvaney said.

Various lawmakers and political figures including former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden: Trump family separation policy could make the US a pariah Elizabeth Warren can unify Democrats and take back the White House Giuliani doubles down on Biden comments: 'I meant that he’s dumb' MORE, a longtime friend of McCain, have condemned the comments.

The White House has not indicated it will fire Sadler or issue a formal apology.