The White House press staffer who made a tasteless joke about a "dying" Sen. John McCain no longer works at the White House — but that apparently doesn't mean she's done with the Trump administration. According to Kellyanne Conway, Kelly Sadler could nab another job despite coming under intense public scrutiny after being caught reportedly mocking the ailing senator.
"Kelly Sadler has been told that there are administration jobs that fit with her skill set and her experience and that the rest is really her choice, what she would like to do next," Conway told CNN's John Berman during an appearance Wednesday on New Day. Conway, who serves as counselor to President Trump, claimed she'd spoken with Sadler the night before.
CNN reported in May that Sadler responded to news of McCain's vocal opposition to President Trump's CIA director nominee by saying of the Arizona senator, "he's dying anyway." McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last year following a surgery to remove a blood clot.
When asked about Sadler's reported comment, a White House official told the cable news network that White House staff "respect Senator McCain's service to our nation, and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time."
It was reported Tuesday that Sadler was quietly let go as a communications aide, nearly a month after her comment was first leaked to the press. When pressed to reveal whether Sadler was fired for the "joke" about McCain, Conway said she "literally cannot comment on personnel issues" and said she was not involved in this case specifically.
"Yes, there are other administration jobs open to her," Conway said when asked if the Trump administration would still consider employing Sander in a different role despite her remarks:
"She, as I understand it, has been provided with the idea that there are opportunities throughout the administration that would fit with different skill sets. There are a number of open positions throughout the administration for those who wish to submit for them, interview for them, and I think that that they match up nicely with different individuals present and communication skills."
According to CNN's Kaitlan Collins, the White House has been quietly "strategizing" as to how they could move Sadler out of her current role in the executive office to another area of the administration.
Last month, the McCain family was swift to condemn both Sadler's and the White House's apparent dismissal of them. "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," daughter Meghan McCain said on an episode of ABC's The View.
McCain added that her father was "doing really well right now," before addressing Sadler directly.
"Kelly, here's a little newsflash — and this may be a bit intense for 11 o'clock in the morning on a Friday — but we're all dying. I'm dying, you're dying, we're all dying," she said. "I really feel like I understand the meaning of life, and it is not how you die. It is how you live."
McCain's wife also publicly responded to Sadler. "May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children, and 5 grandchildren," Cindy McCain wrote in a tweet addressed to the now-former White House communications aide in May. Neither Sadler nor the White House ever issued a public apology for her reported comment on McCain's health, despite all the public criticism, condemnation, and backlash that followed.
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