Romney: Those who mock McCain 'humiliate themselves'

Senate candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe TRUST Act is a plot to gut Social Security behind closed doors Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Bring on the brokered convention MORE (R) said Saturday that those who mock Arizona Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE's (R) failing health "humiliate themselves."

His comments follow The Hill's report that White House special assistant Kelly Sadler mocked McCain's cancer diagnosis during a meeting with communication staffers Thursday morning.

"John McCain makes America great. Father, grandfather, Navy pilot, POW hero bound by honor, an incomparable and irrepressible statesman. Those who mock such greatness only humiliate themselves and their silent accomplices," Romney wrote.

Sadler reportedly made the comments Thursday in reference to McCain's letter to colleagues urging them to reject Trump's nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA. The Arizona senator was diagnosed with brain cancer last year.

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“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler said, according to a source familiar with the remarks at the meeting. The White House would not confirm or deny the remarks during a Friday press briefing with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who declined to comment on closed-door meetings.

The reported remarks sparked fury on Capitol Hill and in the media, where lawmakers from both sides of the aisle demanded apologies from Sadler and the White House.

Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Bring on the brokered convention 18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud MORE, who also served in the Navy remarked that he and McCain learned some "four letter" words while serving that could be applied to McCain's critics.

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"Actually Jeff, you’re too kind," Kerry wrote after Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 Poll: Democrat Mark Kelly leads incumbent McSally in Arizona Senate race MORE (R-Ariz.) tweeted that "there are no words" in response to the Sadler report.

"There are words - four letter ones. If @SenJohnMcCain and I didn’t know how to use them before the Navy, we became fluent in them then. And they all apply to anyone who would say anything like that about John or any family battling cancer."

In a statement to The Hill, the White House said that it respects the ailing senator's service to the country.

“We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time,” the White House said.