A somber Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wants President Donald Trump’s administration to issue a formal apology to his colleague and good friend, GOP Sen. John McCain, over a recent insult mocking the Arizonian’s health status.
In an interview with CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday, Graham called the barb directed at McCain during a meeting last week of White House staffers “disgusting,” and he voiced his dissatisfaction with the Trump administration’s response.
Reports surfaced that White House aide Kelly Sadler joked that McCain was “dying anyway” during a discussion of the senator’s announcement that he was opposed to Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the CIA. McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, came out against Haspel’s nomination due to her controversial involvement in the CIA’s now-defunct torture program. McCain, 81, is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t deny that Sadler made the remark; instead, she lambasted leaks about private White House meetings
Graham said he wished “somebody from the White House would tell the country, ‘That was inappropriate, that’s not who we are in the Trump administration. And 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 added, “I think most Americans would like to see the Trump administration do better in situations like this.”
CNN reported Sunday that Sadler has told McCain’s daughter, Meghan, that she would apologize publicly for her comment. But Sadler, who also apologized to Meghan in a private phone call, had not made any public mea culpa as of late Sunday afternoon.
Graham did not go so far as to say Trump himself should apologize. But he added that if someone working for him made such a remark, he would issue an apology on behalf of the office.
Meghan McCain publicly scolded Sadler last week.
“I don’t understand the kind of environment you’re working in where that would be acceptable and you could come into work the next day and still have a job,” Meghan said Friday on “The View.”
Take a look at Graham’s response in the video above.