GOP lawmaker: Trump aide’s joke about McCain’s health was ‘a moral failing’

GOP lawmaker: Trump aide’s joke about McCain’s health was ‘a moral failing’
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerOvernight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel Lawmakers introduce resolution to back naming NATO headquarters after McCain Satellite images raise alarms about North Korean nukes MORE (R-Ill.) ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE’s White House aide for her “moral failing" on Friday after she reportedly made an off-color comment about Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE’s (R-Ariz.) health. 

“My friend @SenJohnMcCain is a hero, a fighter, and a good man,” Kinzinger tweeted Friday. “He has a wife and a family, and he lives his life with honor. What was said yesterday goes beyond the pale; it’s a moral failing and unacceptable. Thinking of John & his family today.”

Kinzinger was referring to The Hill reporting on Thursday that special assistant Kelly Sadler brushed off McCain’s opposition to Trump’s CIA director nominee, Gina Haspel, by saying that “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

McCain, 81, is currently battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Hill that Sadler made the derisive comments during a closed-door meeting with White House communications staffers on Thursday morning. The sources said they believed Sadler's comments were intended as a joke.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to address the issue during a Friday press briefing with reporters.

“I'm not going to validate a leak, one way or another, out of an internal staff meeting," Sanders said.

The comments set off a firestorm from politicians on both sides of the aisle and members of the media. 

McCain’s wife, Cindy, responded by reminding Sadler of the senator's family. 

His daughter, Meghan McCain, suggested that Sadler should be fired during Friday’s episode of “The View.”