Bolton praises McCain but offers no apology over White House aide's remark
May 13 at 11:35 AM Email the author
National security adviser John Bolton. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
John Bolton, President Trumpâs national security adviser, praised Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday as a fair public servant but stopped short of offering an apology for a cruel remark by a White House communications aide about the Arizona Republicanâs battle with brain cancer.
Bolton said he could not comment on the remark because he was not present when the aide, Kelly Sadler, told other communications aides at a closed-door staff meeting that McCainâs opposition to Gina Haspel as CIA director did not matter because âheâs dying anyway.â
Instead, Bolton said he remai ned grateful for McCainâs past support, particularly during his 2005 confirmation battle to be ambassador to the United Nations, a post for which Senate Democrats blocked Bolton before George W. Bush gave him an interim appointment.
[Lindsey O. Graham blasts White House aideâs McCain remark as âpretty disgusting thing to sayâ]
McCain worked with other senators to try to win enough votes for Bolton to overcome a filibuster, at a time when Boltonâs political standing was not strong because the direction of the Iraq War was unpopular. He was a fierce advocate of the war.
âHe did it because he thought I was being treated unfairly. Iâll never forget it, Iâll be grateful forever, and I wish John McCain and his family nothing but the best,â Bolton said on CNNâs âState of the Union.â
McCain has been home in Arizona since mid-December as he battles an aggressive form of brain cancer. Sadlerâs comment was prompted by McCainâs ann ouncement on Wednesday that, if he is present in the Senate for Haspelâs confirmation vote later this month, he will vote against her because of her role in helping the âenhanced interrogationsâ of terrorism suspects held at secret CIA black sites in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
[Fox Business guest says torture âworkedâ on John McCain]
A prisoner of war for 5Â½ years in Vietnam, McCain endured torture and has long opposed U.S. operatives engaging in such techniques, which he believes go against American values and are ineffective at obtaining accurate information.
Pressed by CNNâs Jake Tapper on whether he would apologize for Sadlerâs remark, Bolton demurred.
âIâve said what Iâm going to say,â he said.
The Trump administrationâs refusal to formally apologize for the McCain comment has angered Democrats and many Republicans who view the senator as a war hero. âThose who mock such greatness only humiliate themsel ves and their silent accomplices,â Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and a Senate candidate, tweeted Saturday.Source: Google News