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 TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence 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 McCainThe bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns GOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News 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.
Dear @PressSec: 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? https://t.co/5LZMETpvsN— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 12, 2018
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 MulvaneyMick MulvaneyJan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 11, including Pierson, other rally organizers 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 BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package 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.