FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2017 file photo, Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., pauses before speaking to reporters during a meeting of the National Defense Authorization Act conferees, on Capitol Hill in Washington. A White House official dismissed a view expressed by Sen. McCain about President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee, saying Thursday, May 10, 2018, at a staff meeting that “it doesn’t matter” because “he’s dying anyway,” two people in the room told The Associated Press. Kelly Sadler was discussing McCain’s opposition to Trump’s pick for CIA director, Gina Haspel, when she made the comment. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

McCain Irrelevant, ‘He’s Dying Anyway,’ White House aide reportedly says

AP sources: A White House official dismissed a view expressed by Sen. McCain, says ‘he’s dying’

A White House official dismissed Sen. John McCain’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee, saying “it doesn’t matter” because “he’s dying anyway,” two people in the room told The Associated Press.

Kelly Sadler was discussing McCain’s opposition to Trump’s pick for CIA director, Gina Haspel, at a staff meeting on Thursday when she made the comment, according to the two people. They were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

The White House did not dispute the remark. In a statement, they said, “We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”

The Hill newspaper first reported the comment.

The 81-year-old Arizona Republican, who has spent three decades in the Senate, was diagnosed in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. He left Washington in December and underwent surgery last month for an infection.

Sadler is a special assistant to the president. She did not respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

McCain’s wife, Cindy, responded with a tweet tagged to Sadler, “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.”

Sen. McCain, a Navy pilot who was beaten in captivity during the Vietnam War, has urged his fellow senators to reject Haspel. He said Wednesday that he believes she’s a patriot who loves the country but “her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”

Haspel faced grilling Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee about her role overseeing some CIA operations after the Sept. 11 attacks. She told senators that she doesn’t believe torture works as an interrogation technique.

Related: Trump signals changes to US interrogation, detention policy

As for the president, he and McCain have had a troubled relationship.

As a GOP presidential candidate in 2015, Trump said McCain was “not a war hero” because he was captured in Vietnam, adding, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Last July, McCain became the deciding vote against the GOP health care repeal with a dramatic thumbs-down. Trump later told the Conservative Political Action Conference that “except for one Senator, who came into a room at three o’clock in the morning and went like that” —Trump gave a thumbs-down — “we would have had health care (reform), too.”

The crowd booed, and Trump added, “I won’t use his name.”

Related: Trump revisits Charlottesville comments in angry tirade

___

Zeke Miller And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Victoria police search for missing senior last seen in James Bay at noon today

Elsie Habbick, 75, is quite mobile, despite suffering from dementia

Petition puts Haro Woods cyclists on notice

Locals say Saanich sends the wrong message by allowing cyclists in Haro Woods

City of Victoria looking for mural artists to work in Rock Bay

Concrete Canvas project aims to help beautify industrial neighbourhood later this summer

PHOTOS: 120th Annual Victoria Day Parade

Check out the photo gallery, watch our live feed of the festivities

Reporter gets serious with Tour de Victoria’s 140km ride

Travis Paterson’s training blog for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on Aug. 18, Volume 1

Oak Bay optometrist challenges community to target 100 for Ride Don’t Hide

Annual event to raise funds, awareness for Canadian Mental Health Association June 24 in Windsor Park

Saanich and Victoria councils to meet next month to discuss steps to amalgamation

Issues likely to loom large in the June 26 meeting include the perceived clarity of the question

SAR scaling back in Kilmer search, but friends will keep looking

Search for 41-year-old Cobble Hill dad hits six-day mark

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

Most Read