A White House staffer is accused of mocking John McCain's brain-cancer diagnosis during internal meeting

  • White House staffer Kelly Sadler is accused of mocking Sen. John McCain, who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.
  • Two unnamed sources told The Hill that Sadler took issue with McCain's criticism of President Donald Trump's CIA nominee, Gina Haspel, allegedly dismissing the ailing Arizona senator, saying "he's dying anyway."
  • The White House did not deny the account, according to The Hill, but expressed its support for McCain in a statement released later.
  • Trump has frequently been at odds with McCain. Trump mocked his military service during the 2016 presidential election.

Kelly Sadler, a special assistant in the White House, is accused of mocking John McCain on Thursday. McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona, is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Two unnamed sources told The Hill that Sadler took issue with McCain's criticism of President Donald Trump's CIA nominee, Gina Haspel, allegedly dismissing the ailing McCain, saying "he's dying anyway."

McCain on Wednesday said that Haspel is unfit to run the CIA because she would not say definitively that torture is immoral. That issue is one of several that have made Haspel's journey toward Senate confirmation an uphill battle.

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John McCain's military capture and rescue
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John McCain's military capture and rescue
A photo taken by a French cameraman in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. John McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War.
P368426 01: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain Is Pulled Out Of A Hanoi Lake By North Vietnamese Army Soldiers And Civilians October 26, 1967 In Hanoi, North Vietnam. Mccain's A-4E Skyhawk Was Shot Down By A Surface-To-Air Missile. Mccain Broke Both Arms And His Right Knee Upon Ejection And Lost Consciousness Until He Hit The Water. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 04: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain In A Hanoi Hospital During The Vietnam War November, 1967. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 06: (File Photo) A Statue Commemorating October 26, 1967, The Day Lt. Cmdr. John Mccain Was Captured By The North Vietnamese Army, Stands In Hanoi, North Vietnam. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 05: (File Photo) A Mug Shot Of Senator John Mccain As A P.O.W. Taken By The North Vietnamese Sometime Between 1967-73 (Photo By Getty Images)
HANOI, VIET NAM: This file picture taken in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War. One of his rescuers said 24 February 2000, McCain was well treated after being pulled from the lake by villagers. McCain said that upon capture he was beaten by an angry mob and bayoneted in the groin. (B/W ONLY) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
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The White House did not deny the account of Sadler's alleged remark about McCain, but expressed its support for the ailing statesman and Vietnam war veteran in a statement released to The Hill:

"We respect Senator McCain's service to our nation, and he and his family are in our prayers," the statement reads in part.

McCain and Trump have frequently been at odds since Trump was a candidate in the 2016 election. Trump, at one point, ridiculed McCain's military service and said "he's not a war hero." McCain made headlines this week when it was revealed that he does not plan to invite Trump to his funeral.

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