Would you feel like it was ‘just politics’ if your cancer-stricken father was derided by a White House staffer – in this case, Kelly Sadler – as irrelevant because “he’s dying anyway”?
I bet you wouldn’t think it was ok at all if your beloved father was battling terminal cancer and he was dismissed as worthless because he was for dying. I bet you’d be horrified by the cruelty and insensitivity of such a comment – especially if it was coming out of the mouth of a senior White House aide. That staffer was Kelly Sadler, a “special” Assistant to the President in the Office of Communications at the White House. She reportedly made her cruel remark in a White House meeting on May 10, when several staffers were discussing Senator John McCain‘s decision to withhold his support for Donald Trump‘s nominee for CIA chief, Gina Haspel. “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” she asserted in the meeting according to a source, first reported by TheHill.com. Other media outlets like The Washington Post have confirmed her nasty remark and the White House has not denied what Sadler said.
McCain, 81, who served courageously in the Vietnam War and suffered bravely as a prisoner during five years of captivity, in which he was tortured repeatedly, opposes Haspel because she oversaw the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” aka torture program, after 9/11. You can certainly understood why the only member of Congress who has actually been brutally tortured would refuse to support someone who believed in torture. McCain, who is battling terminal brain cancer, has suffered from a limp and been unable to raise his hands over his head, thanks to the injuries he sustained during torture. Now, think about that – Senator McCain sacrificed his health and years of his life in a war to protect the American people and now when he is fighting for his life, a senior White House staffer delivers this low blow. And neither she, her direct boss, Chief of Staff, General John Kelly nor President Donald Trump have issued any apology. In other words, they have no regrets and no shame about mocking an American hero.
Keep in mind too that Donald Trump got five deferments, including one for having bone spurs in his heels, and therefore never, ever served in Vietnam. And this isn’t the first time that he has insulted Captain McCain. He derided McCain during a July 2015 campaign event, slamming: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” And it’s also amazing that a president who makes repeated shows of being so patriotic, could be so nasty to McCain, and also to Gold Star families. Remember how he insulted the Khan family, whose son Captain Humayun Khan died in Iraq. They just happened to be Muslim. Then there was Myeshia Johnson, the widow of US Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. Trump reduced her to tears when he told her that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”
I suppose it’s not surprising that Kelly Sadler would feel perfectly comfortable making the most revolting of comments about John McCain, when the president himself has set such a base, bullying tone absolutely everyday. Former vice president Joe Biden couldn’t remain silent about Sadler. Decency hit “rock bottom” with Trump’s administration when she lobbed her insult, Biden, a longtime friend of “genuine hero” McCain, slammed Trump. “Given this White House trail of disrespect toward John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule, she is the epitome of it.”
Now, again, how would you feel if your father was dying and he was attacked like this? Wouldn’t you be horrified? And angry? And what if the president condoned it? Wouldn’t you be mystified that Kelly Sadler would go reprimanded? “I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in when that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job,” John’s daughter, Meghan McCain, said on The View today, May 11th. Yes, she was mystified. And so was I. Is it okay for the president and his team to be this vile and small? What message does this send to all Americans and to American teens and kids?
Get ready for a rude, disrespectful and remorseless generation. The president sets a standard of behavior that others follow. What the president says and does matters. With Donald Trump, that is sad.