The continuing sprawl of tasteless remarks from the White House and its allies took aim at Sen. John McCain on Thursday, taking baseless shots at his failing health and his past as a prisoner of war.
On Thursday morning, White House special assistant Kelly Sadler mocked McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis and recent surgery for an intestinal infection during a closed-door meeting, saying, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.” Sadler’s comments come one day after McCain declared he wouldn’t support the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, over her past support for torture and her choice to not answer when asked whether she still supported the practice during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
The White House issued a statement regarding Sadler’s comments later on Thursday, saying, “We respect Senator John McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”
Later, Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney used McCain’s history as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War to supplant his support for the use of torture by military and intelligence agencies during an appearance on Fox Business, taking another shot at the recovering Senator. “The fact is, is John McCain—it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John,’” said McInerney.
Fox News host Charles Payne, who conducted the interview with McInerney, later apologized for McInerney's remarks, as well as for not challenging them.
McCain’s family has been vocal about people commenting on the Senator’s health this week, with his daughter, The View co-host Meghan McCain, saying, “It’s just insensitive and it’s not appreciated at the moment.” McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, responded directed to Sadler’s comments via Twitter on Thursday, writing, “May I remind you my husband has a family, seven children and five grandchildren.”