We already know that the GOP has a low bar for what it considers acceptable behavior, considering their continuous excusal of Donald Trump’s room temperature IQ and manners to match. But sometimes the question with certain Republicans is, how low can you go?
Pretty damn low, if this morning’s “joke” from White House aide Kelly Sadler is any indication. Ms. Sadler is a special assistant in charge of “surrogate communications,” and at least in this instance, she seemed like a surrogate for Donald Trump himself, when she mocked Senator John McCain’s opposition to Trump’s nomination of noted torture participant Gina Haspel to be the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Haspel ran a “black ops” site in Thailand following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States, at which she oversaw “enhanced interrogation techniques” including waterboarding and other treatments that human rights groups around the world have condemned as torture.
Due to the fact that John McCain endured torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese during the war in that country, the Arizona Senator has often broken with his party over the use of the controversial and inhumane methods, and the nomination of Haspel was no exception. Part of the press release from McCain’s office was unequivocal:
“I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense. 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.”
Sadler, the White House aide who remarked on McCain’s response, was reported by another White House official to have said during a closed-door meeting,
“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”
And John McCain’s wife Cindy felt the same way — she heard about Sadler’s off-color “joke” and was not having it. Coming off a day where she had already heard her husband disparaged on Fox News over the same issue, she was ready to respond:
“May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.”
@kellysadler45 May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) May 10, 2018
Far more pleasant a response than I might have had for someone who joked about the death of my spouse. Hopefully, the White House at least has the decency to show Ms. Sadler the door after her tasteless remark — she can apologize all she wants, but there’s no putting that toothpaste back in the tube.
Featured image via Getty Images/Composite