Biden: The Trump administration just 'hit rock bottom' with staffer's joke about John McCain's death

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden said the Trump administration had "hit rock bottom" after it was reported White House aide Kelly Sadler mocked Sen. John McCain. 
  • During a discussion at the White House on Thursday on McCain's opposition to Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, Sadler reportedly said, "He’s dying anyway," so his opinion "doesn't matter."
  • Sadler's reported remarks add to the Trump administration's troubled history with McCain.

Former Vice President Joe Biden ripped into President Donald Trump's administration on Friday and said it "hit rock bottom" after reports that White House aide Kelly Sadler mocked Sen. John McCain, who has an aggressive form of brain cancer.

"People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration," Biden said in a statement. "It happened yesterday."

Sadler's reported remarks came during a discussion at the White House on Thursday on McCain's opposition to Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel. Sadler reportedly said of McCain, "He’s dying anyway," so his opinion "doesn't matter." McCain spoke out against Haspel after her confirmation hearing earlier this week, saying her responses on her involvement in the George W. Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" program left him concerned.

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John McCain receives 2017 Liberty Medal
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John McCain receives 2017 Liberty Medal
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) laughs after being awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (unseen) at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 16, 2017. At right is President of the National Constitution Center Jeffrey Rosen. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks after being awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (unseen) at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) gives a thumbs up to the crowd before being awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 16, 2017. At right is President of the National Constitution Center Jeffrey Rosen. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 16, 2017. Standing between them is President of the National Constitution Center Jeffrey Rosen. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) shakes hands with supporters before being awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 16: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) receives the the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Constitution Center on October 16, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 16: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) poses for photos with a group of Naval cadets after receiving the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden (not shown) at the National Constitution Center on October 16, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 16: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) makes remarks after receiving the the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden (not shown) at the National Constitution Center on October 16, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 16: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) receives the the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Constitution Center on October 16, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 16: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) greets a group of Naval cadets after receiving the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden (not shown) at the National Constitution Center on October 16, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
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In his statement on Friday, Biden said McCain is a "general hero" and that he deserves "so much better."

"Given this White House's trail of disrespect toward John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule; she is the epitome of it," Biden said. 

McCain has become widely respected across the political spectrum for not only his long political career, but also his military record. The Arizona senator spent five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he was famously tortured after refusing an opportunity to be released early. McCain's has said his defiance of his captors was motivated by a loyalty to his fellow American prisoners of war. 

Sadler's reported remarks add to the Trump administration's troubled history with McCain.

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John McCain military capture and rescue
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John McCain 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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During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump was broadly criticized after he mocked McCain's military status. At the time, Trump said McCain was not a "war hero."

"He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured," Trump said.

The White House has not denied Sadler made the remarks. She reportedly called Meghan McCain, the senator's daughter, to apologize on Thursday evening. 

On Friday, Meghan, who co-hosts "The View," asked how Sadler still had a job. 

"I don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job," she said on Friday's show. 

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