Kelly Sadler, The White House Staffer Who Mocked John McCain, Is Out Of The Trump Admin — REPORT
A certain Trump administration employee appears to be out of a job. According to CNN, Kelly Sadler no longer works at the White House. Sadler was the communications aide who made made waves after making insensitive comments about John McCain's health.
Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment.
Last month, news broke that Sadler reportedly dismissed McCain's opposition to then-CIA director nominee Gina Haspel because he is "dying anyway." McCain is well-known to suffer from an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Sadler's comments were made in a private meeting, and were ultimately leaked to The Hill. As POLITICO reports, the leaking ultimately became the focal point for Trump and many of his cohorts, less so the comment itself.
After the Sadler leak, Trump reportedly ordered that the communications team be partially purged, calling for a shake up of a series of mid and junior level aides, POLITICO reported at the time. Whether Sadler left of her own accord is currently unknown.
Haspel was ultimately confirmed, but she faced intense scrutiny from many Democrats and some Republicans. McCain was among the Republicans who pushed back against her confirmation. A particular sticking point, at the time, concerned Haspel's overseeing of an interrogation technique that many now believe qualified as torture during her time as a CIA officer under the Bush Administration.
During congressional confirmation hearings last month, Haspel refused to say whether, with the benefit of hindsight, she still would have considered those techniques morally acceptable.
"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense," McCain said in a statement after the confirmation hearing. "However, Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination."
For Sen. McCain, Haspel's views on torture carried personal significance. The senator was held as a prisoner of war for over five years in Vietnam, and is well-known to have been tortured during that time. This complicated history provided the background for Sadler's comments.
After the comments were published, the White house responded by saying that it "respected" Sen. McCain. "We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time," the statement read.
According to CNN, Sadler was a special assistant to Trump. Her job required that she compile and distribute talking points to those who support the administration. Whether she has been replaced is not currently known.
USA Today reports that White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement that Sadler "is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President." She has not yet publicly commented on her departure from the position. As of Tuesday evening, her Twitter account still listed her as Trump's special assistant.
"The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible," Trump tweeted on May 14, which many interpreted as a response to the Sadler controversy. "With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!"
Indeed, leaks have plagued the White House, and Trump has expressed frustration about them many a time. Whether or not flipping some communications staff will actually stop private conversations from leaking to the press is unclear. Previously, the White House reportedly tried to limit access to classified computer systems, The Hill reported. But as The Hill pointed out, that, too, was a leak.