Lindsey Graham: White House should apologize for McCain remark

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThreat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Graham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats Congress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit MORE (R-S.C.) said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the White House should apologize for an aide’s derisive comment about Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain says Ben Carson should be developing brain cancer treatment, not working at HUD Graham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats Pelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award MORE (R-Ariz.).

Graham told host Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” that he was not satisfied with how the Trump administration has responded to the remark. 

“It's [a] pretty disgusting thing to say,” Graham said. “If it was a joke, it was a terrible joke. I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate, that's not who we are in the Trump administration.”

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During an internal meeting, White House aide Kelly Sadler dismissed McCain’s opposition to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE’s CIA nominee, saying, “he’s dying anyway.” The comment, first reported by The Hill, has sparked a wave of backlash from lawmakers in both parties. 

Graham told CBS News that while he will let Trump decide whether or not to apologize, he thinks “most Americans would like to see the Trump administration do better in situations like this."

“It doesn't hurt you at all to do the right thing and to be big,” he said.  “[If] somebody in my office said such a thing about somebody, I would apologize on behalf of the office.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged questions about the comment during Friday’s press briefing, and it was later reported that she scolded staff over the leak.

Graham recently spent two days in Arizona with the 81-year-old senator, who is his closest friend in the Senate.