The latest example of the Donald Trump administration bringing shame and disgrace upon the nation it’s supposed to serve came on Thursday, when we learned that White House communications staffer Kelly Sadler dismissed John McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel’s bid to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. Why? Sadler thought that since McCain has brain cancer, it really didn’t matter what he thought about Haspel “because he’s dying anyway.”
The condemnation has come in fast, hard, and from both sides of the aisle. In any normal White House–regardless of whether the president is a Democrat or a Republican–Sadler would have been fired before the close of business on Friday. But incredibly, this harpy still has a job. Even more incredibly, it seems that the White House is more upset that we learned about Sadler’s disgusting comments than the fact she made them in the first place.
The first sign of this line came at Friday’s press briefing, when Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to offer anything even resembling an apology for Sadler’s disgusting comments. Why? Wait for it–we learned about it via a leak. Watch here.
When asked about Sadler’s remarks, Sanders refused to comment, saying that they took place during “an internal staff meeting.” When asked again about Sadler, Sanders replied that she was “not going to validate a leak one way or the other about an internal staff meeting.” She even went as far as to say that she wouldn’t offer an apology because “people want to create issues of leaked staff meetings.”
Even by the standards of this White House, this is breathtaking. A White House staffer sees fit to mock a cancer survivor, and Sanders sees fit to wag her finger at the press for reporting leaked details about a staff meeting?
But it turns out Sanders wasn’t done lecturing people about leaks. On Saturday morning, we learned that Sanders read the communications and press staff the riot act for letting this leak get out. Watch here.
CNN’s Boris Sanchez learned that Sanders told staffers that Sadler’s remark was inappropriate. However, she saw the leak as an attempt to “hurt Kelly Sadler in public.” Good grief, Sarah. Why couldn’t you leave well enough alone? The remark was despicable. Period.
But then again, Sanders saw fit to publicly defend Trump’s degrading attacks on Mika Brzezinski as merely something you’d expect from a president who “fights fire with fire.” So it comes as no surprise that she’s more concerned about the fact a despicable comment was leaked than the fact that comment was made at all.
Sanders wasn’t the only White House official with a warped moral compass this weekend. On Saturday’s edition of Fox News’ “Cavuto Live,” budget director Mick Mulvaney said that while Sadler’s remark was “awful,” he was more concerned about a leak that was intended to “undermine the President.”
So let’s get this straight. A White House staffer tells a disgusting “joke” about a cancer patient, and Mulvaney thinks leaking it is tantamount to undermining Trump? Have you no decency, Mick? We’ve all wondered how Sadler still has a job. Now we have our answer.
When you’re dealing with a breach of every standard of acceptable behavior for government officials that is known, the fact we learned about it as a leak should be the least of your concerns. The fact that Sanders and Mulvaney either don’t know, don’t understand, or refuse to understand this is yet more proof this White House is morally bankrupt.
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