A CNN panel seemed baffled Friday after Sarah Sanders held the White House press briefing and failed to denounce an aide's uncouth joke about Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) brain cancer.
On Thursday, multiple outlets reported that communications staffer Kelly Sadler said of McCain "he's dying anyway" in a discussion about his opposition to the nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA director. Haspel has been a controversial pick because of her past involvement in the CIA's torture program and destruction of evidence, and McCain faced torture while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
"Willful ignorance, I would say, is what we've just witnessed," said anchor Brianna Keilar after Sanders refused to condemn the comment.
"For the life of me, I can't understand," politics analyst Gloria Borger said. "The staffer has admitted she did it, she called Megan McCain to apologize. Yes, it was a leak, but it was accurate. And why the White House can't say: Look, we've spoken to her, we've told her why we think this is inappropriate. We think we need to move on from this, this is not the way anyone in the White House ought to conduct themselves."
She continued: "But by refusing to even say what she said was hurtful, wrong, tasteless — you know, use whatever adjective you want — you sort of extend this story. And of course, the underlying story, which is that the president and Sen. John McCain don't get along."
Watch the clip below:
"Willful ignorance, I would say, is what we've just witnessed." – @brikeilarcnn reacts to @PressSec Sarah Sanders refusing to condemn, or apologize for, a White House aide's distasteful joke about John McCain https://t.co/WWd28cLuhl pic.twitter.com/0Db41szB0n
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) May 11, 2018
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.
It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.