White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly scolded her staff on Friday after one White House official's derisive comment about Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainArizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Another recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief MORE (R-Ariz.) became public.

In the meeting with communications staffers, Sanders called the comment by special assistant Kelly Sadler "unacceptable," according to ABC News, but sources told the network she was more upset over the leak of the remark.

“I am sure this conversation is going to leak, too. And that’s just disgusting,” she said according to a report by Axios on Saturday.

White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyProtect the Military Lending Act On The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Warren suggests Mulvaney broke law by speaking to GOP donors MORE on Saturday also condemned the comment making its way to the press. During an appearance on Fox News, Mulvaney called Sadler's comment a "bad joke" but said it was "inconsiderate" that it leaked.

The Hill first reported Thursday that Sadler said during a private meeting that McCain's opposition to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's nominee to become CIA director, Gina Haspel, "doesn't matter" because "he's dying anyway." 

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McCain, 81, is in Arizona battling brain cancer.

The comment prompted fierce pushback from lawmakers and the news media on Friday, while Sanders was grilled over the comment during the daily press briefing.

Mercedes Schlapp, the White House director of strategic communications, said Friday during a White House meeting that she stood by Sadler, Axios reported.

“You can put this on the record. ... I stand with Kelly Sadler," she said, according to Axios.

A source told the news outlet that she was emphasizing that staff members should defend their colleagues whose comments get leaked to the press.