McConnell Dodges McCain Joke Controversy, Praises Him Instead

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks with the media after Senate Republicans met with President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell steered clear of a White House aide’s derisive comment toward Sen. John McCain but praised the ailing Republican after visiting with him over the weekend in Arizona.

In a Senate speech Monday, McConnell said, “I told him we miss him.”

He says, “I was confident I was speaking for everybody in the Senate in conveying our deepest respects for him and all he’s done for the country in his extraordinary life.”

McCain remains outspoken on political and policy debates while battling brain cancer. McConnell says the beloved, if not “smart-alecky,” colleague had plenty to say about work.

During a White House staff meeting last week, communications aide Kelly Sadler dismissed McCain’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee by saying of McCain: “He’s dying anyway.”

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