FEATURED:

Matt Schlapp: Kelly Sadler is 'a little bit of a victim here' on McCain comment

Matt Schlapp: Kelly Sadler is 'a little bit of a victim here' on McCain comment
© Greg Nash

Conservative commentator and American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp referred to Kelly Sadler as “a little bit of a victim” during an interview on CNN about the White House aide’s comments, first reported by The Hill, mocking Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump: 'You know what I am? I'm a nationalist' Graham on Saudi Arabia: 'I feel completely betrayed' Meghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family MORE's (R-Ariz.) deteriorating health during a staff meeting.

“Kelly is my friend. I feel bad she is going through this. She immediately called to apologize. She’s also a little bit of a victim here,” Schlapp told CNN “New Day” co-anchor Chris Cuomo.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I don’t blame anybody like you for running with leaks out of the White House,” he continued in addressing Cuomo directly. “It’s your job. You are trying to get transparency to voters and Americans."

“The problem is none of us were in that room. The people who leaked what she said are people who have an animus against her. They go public. They have to solve that problem,” said Schlapp, whose wife, Mercedes Schlapp, serves as White House director of strategic communications.

“It is a perfectly logical thing to say, hey, will there be a McCain replacement? Will there be a McCain? Will he not be able to come to Washington? She could have meant it matter of factually,” he said. McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last year.

Bill Kristol, founder and editor-at-large at The Weekly Standard and a staunch critic of the Trump administration, asked Schlapp why Sadler won't go on television to explain the McCain comment further.

“Let me tell you why. The reason is this: For this White House to comment on statements that are made in confidential meetings, if they continue to comment on what was said or not said, what was meant, they will never get out of this box,” Schlapp said. “They shouldn’t comment. They never should have said anything about this comment.”

“Come on. Of course they should have,” interjected Cuomo. “Not only should they have said John McCain doesn’t deserve it, the president could have tweeted it.”

“Once you start commenting about leaks out of those meetings, you will never be able to appropriately run your agenda. And you shouldn’t comment on it,” Schlapp replied.  

Kristol countered that Sadler “deserves credit for telling Meghan McCain,” but that she should have made a public apology. He also said he believed she had not because of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE.

“The chief of staff won’t say it because Donald Trump doesn’t want him to say that. The fish rots from the head. This is Donald Trump’s White House. People are behaving like Donald Trump,” Kristol said.

“She apologized, Bill,” Schlapp replied.

“She didn’t do it publicly,” Cuomo said in ending the segment.

“It is all public now,” said Schlapp.

The Hill reported four days ago that Sadler said during a private White House meeting that McCain's opposition to Gina Haspel, the president's nominee to replace Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoWarren wants probe into whether former U.S. soldiers worked as assassins for UAE Slain Saudi columnist upends 'Davos in the Desert' Koreas, UN Command pulling weapons, guard posts inside DMZ MORE as CIA director, “doesn't matter” because “he's dying anyway.”

The 81-year-old McCain is home in Arizona undergoing treatment for brain cancer after being diagnosed in July 2017 with an aggressive type of brain tumor called primary glioblastoma.