The Trump staffer who joked about John McCain dying just got what she deserves

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Kelly Sadler, the Trump administration communications aide who became controversial after her quip that Sen. John McCain’s opinion no longer mattered because he was “dying anyway” leaked to the press, has been quietly forced out of her job at the White House.

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Maggie Haberman of the New York Times reported in a tweet that Sadler had “been assured her job was safe” but the blonde former journalist appears to have gotten caught in an untenable position.

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At some point after her remark at a White House internal meeting on May 10 made in relation to McCain’s opposition to the appointment of Gina Haspel as head of the CIA went public, Sadler called McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain, but on May 11th Politico reported that the call “did not go well.”

The White House never officially confirmed she made the remark but a CNN reporter confirmed it.

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McCain went on The View on ABC, where she is a co-host, and denounced Sadler and said she and her family had been promised a public apology.

That apology was never forthcoming, which may have been because President Trump never wants to apologize to anyone for anything. 

Instead of apologizing for the “joke” which went flat even in the White House that day, the Trump communications team – led by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders –  went into full offensive over the leak of the remark, doing investigations and condemning whoever shared it with the news media.

On May 31, when President Trump responded to the firing of Roseanne Barr and the sudden cancellation of her hit TV show by ABC and Disney, with an angry retort complaining Disney never apologized for an erroneous story about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn,  Megan McCain took to the air again.

She said if Trump is keen for “tit for tat” apologies, she pointed out her family never got an apology from Sadler.

“I don’t like talking about my dad all the time, but he keeps being brought up,” McCain said on The View. “In a rally last weekend, there were boos. It was elicited by president Trump at the rally, and I was promised an apology by Kelly Sadler to my family, and I didn’t get that.”

View co-host Joy Behar then raised the possibility that Sadler had not been “allowed” to apologize. 

In the White House, one of Sadler’s roles as “Director of Surrogate & Coalitions Outreach,”  reported the Weekly Standard in April, was to send out anti-immigration emails, with attribution only as a “government official,” to mostly to friendly right-wing media, that said things like “Previously Deported Mexican National Convicted of Raping 9-Year-Old Girl in Sanctuary City.”

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CNN broke the story today that Sadler was no longer working at the White House, but could not get any official confirmation.

This afternoon, Fox News reported it had confirmation from a “senior administration official.”

There was no immediate comment from Meghan McCain or her family to the news.

Some rightwing media have portrayed Sadler as a “victim” in all this, but she knew what kind of administration she was getting involved with and as the Weekly Standard reported, she actively participated in the dirty tricks used to make political capital.

So there is no reason to feel sorry for Sadler, only for the American people for having to grapple with a government where she was hired and fired for all the wrong reasons.

Benjamin Locke

Benjamin Locke is a retired college professor with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Labor and Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from the European School of Management.

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