Lindsey Graham: White House should apologize for McCain remark

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill 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 to produce 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Meghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' 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 TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away 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.