Kelly Sadler, White House communications aide who mocked Sen. John McCain’s health, has been removed from her position.

The comment in question was made in a private meeting discussing McCain’s opposition to CIA director nominee Gina Haspel didn’t matter because he was “dying anyway.” The comment was leaked to The Hill and Haspel has yet to publicly apologize.

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The White House had been organizing Sadler’s exit for the past two weeks, a senior official told CNN. It remains unclear if she is going somewhere else or leaving the administration entirely, as there were talks of relocating her to another agency or department outside of the White House.


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“Kelly Sadler is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President,” principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah wrote in a statement.

McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain said on ABC’s The View last month that she wondered “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.” The White House has neither apologized for nor condemned Sadler’s comments. Instead, the administration has focused on targeting those leaking information to the press.


White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News that White House employees should be loyal to the president and his agenda and that she expected to see personnel changes due to the “unhelpful” leaks. Aides told CNN that the hunt for leakers has created an “acrimonious atmosphere” in the White House and that Sadler angered one of her only remaining allies, communications officer Mercedes Schlapp, when she speculated to Trump that Schlapp was one of the leakers – as Schlapp was also there.

It is unclear what further steps will be taken to to curtail leaks, according to CNN, but senior aides have stopped short of ordering blanket firings.     

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