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12 Aug 2020, Edition - 1856, Wednesday

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World News

Kelly Sadler: Aide who mocked McCain exits White House

bbc.com

A White House communications aide who drew criticism for reportedly joking about Senator John McCain’s cancer has left her role, an official says.

Kelly Sadler raised eyebrows last month after reports emerged she had said the Republican senator’s vote did not matter because he was “dying anyway”.

The remark came during a meeting over CIA Director Gina Haspel, whose nomination Mr McCain had opposed.

Mr McCain, 81, has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

“Kelly Sadler is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President,” White House spokesman Raj Shah told the BBC in a statement on Tuesday.

After last month’s reports over the comment, Ms Sadler, a special assistant to the president, called the senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, to apologise, according to the Hill newspaper.

Ms McCain suggested on the TV programme The View that the White House aide should lose her job.

“The thing that surprised me most is, I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in where that would be acceptable, and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job,” the co-host said at the time.

The White House has not confirmed or denied whether Ms Sadler made the remark.

“We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time,” a statement at the time said.

Mr McCain is resting at his family’s Sedona, Arizona, retreat and has been notably absent from the Senate.

The Arizona senator – who was tortured during more than five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam – had opposed US President Donald Trump’s nominee over her waterboarding record.

But the US Senate confirmed Ms Haspel as the CIA’s first female director later in May.

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