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 KinzingerGOP rep deployed to southern border with Air National Guard unit GOP rep: Trump needs to ‘quit complimenting Kim Jong Un’ GOP compares Ocasio-Cortez to Trump MORE (R-Ill.) ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE’s White House aide for her “moral failing" on Friday after she reportedly made an off-color comment about Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMark Kelly's campaign raises over M in days after launching Senate bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal Mark Kelly launches Senate bid in Arizona 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.”