White House aide Kelly Sadler is out of a job almost a month after she reportedly mocked a “dying” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has brain cancer.
“Kelly Sadler is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President,” White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement Tuesday.
CNN first reported Sadler’s exit, noting that “the White House had been strategizing an exit for Sadler for the last two weeks,” including possibly “relocating her to another agency or department outside of the White House, and it remains unclear if she is going somewhere else or leaving the administration entirely.”
Sadler came under fire last month after reports surfaced that she had disparaged McCain — who spent over five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam — after he urged his fellow senators to reject Gina Haspel as CIA director because of her history overseeing controversial techniques for interrogating detainees.
“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” The Hill quoted Sadler as saying in a meeting with about two dozen communications aides.
McCain’s daughter Meghan said Sadler called to apologize and that she promised to make a public apology, though that never happened. McCain’s wife, Cindy, also tweeted to Sadler, “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.”
And following the comment, other sources reportedly said the White House was instead more incensed that the remark had leaked at all rather than being upset about the insensitive comment itself.
The White House has not disputed the remark Sadler reportedly made, only issuing a statement shortly afterward: “We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”
McCain, 81, was the 2008 GOP nominee for president and is currently being treated for a form of brain cancer that is frequently deadly.
Trump and McCain have long had a rocky relationship. In 2015, then-candidate Trump dismissed McCain’s time as a prisoner of war, saying he was considered a war hero only “because he was captured,” adding that “I like people who weren’t captured.” Trump received multiple deferments to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War.
And Trump has also blamed McCain for the failure last year to repeal the Affordable Care Act after the Arizona senator returned to cast the decisive vote that defeated a GOP alternative health care bill.