- The Washington Times - Monday, May 14, 2018

The White House on Monday stood by the aide Kelly Sadler, saying she still had a job despite outrage over her insensitive remark that Sen. John McCain didn’t matter because “he was dying anyway.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said he understood the news media’s focus on the issue but that it had been handled “internally.”

He did not elaborate on how it was handled.

“She is still an employee at the White House. She came to work today,” said Mr. Shah.

Mrs. Sadler made the remark last week about Mr. McCain, 81, who is battling brain cancer, at a closed-door White House meeting. Mrs. Sadler, a former editorial page employee at the Washington Times, said it in response to the senator announcing his opposition to CIA director nominee Gina Haspel.

Mr. McCain has frequently clashed with Mr. Trump.

Mrs. Sadler’s remark was leaked by someone in the meeting to The Hill.

The story has dogged the White House for five days. There have been calls for Mrs. Sadler to lose her job, including from Mr. McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain.

Mr. Shah, who was leading the closed-door meeting, refused to say what he thought about the remark.

“This is not about my opinion or anyone else opinion,” he said.

He also acknowledged that the White House’s leak problem.

“If you aren’t able in an internal meeting to speak your mind or convey internal thoughts,” he said, “that creates a very difficult work environment.”

Mrs. Sadler called the McCain family and apologized before the story was published last week, said Mr. Shah.

However, the White House has been criticized for not issuing a public apology.

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