Senate Republicans are urging the White House to issue a formal apology to the ailing Sen. John McCain in the aftermath of a joke made in bad taste leaked last week, the Washington Examiner is reporting.
"Of course there should be an apology," Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said. "This story can end itself pretty quickly and we should be thinking about keeping John McCain in our prayers."
White House staffer Kelly Sadler quipped during a private meeting that it didn't matter that McCain opposed Gina Haspel for CIA director because "he's dying anyway."
The White House called it a joke that fell flat but that's not flying for McCain's colleagues in the upper chamber.
"I know it's probably not their style to make apologies, but I can tell you that the vast majority of Americans would say John McCain deserves our respect and that's from the top to the bottom," the Examiner quoted South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds.
Sen. Lindsey Graham rebuked the staffer and the spin that came afterward, saying earlier this week that "nobody is laughing in the Senate." He previously called the ill-advised quip "disgusting."
McCain remains at his home in Arizona battling brain cancer. The 81-year-old war hero has not been able to return to Capitol Hill to work so far this calendar year.
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