A White House aide’s remark this week that Sen. John McCain’s political positions don’t matter because he’s near death was “disgusting” and the White House should issue an apology, Sen. Lindsey Graham told CBS News in an interview set to air Sunday morning.
The South Carolina Republican, a longtime friend and Senate ally of Mr. McCain, told the “Face the Nation” program that the Trump administration could do itself a favor by issuing a formal apology to the McCain family.
“It’s a pretty disgusting thing to say. 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,” Mr. Graham said.
The remark reportedly came from White House communications aide Kelly Sadler in response to Mr. McCain saying he’d vote against Gina Haspel, the president’s pick to head the CIA. The aide said Mr. McCain’s position doesn’t matter because he’s “dying anyway.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would not comment on the matter Friday, but White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News over the weekend the comments should be taken in context.
“This was a private meeting inside the White House,” he said. “It was a joke — a badly considered joke, an awful joke that she said fell flat.”
But Mr. Graham said that regardless of whether it was a private meeting, the White House should issue an apology....“John McCain can be criticized for any political decision he’s ever made, or any vote he’s ever cast, but he’s an American hero,” he said. “And I think 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.”