Kelly Sadler, who once made a joke about Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) health in private, which was subsequently leaked to the media, was quietly let go yesterday. The dismissal comes more than a month after the remark was made.
At the time, the leaker inside the White House told CNN that “White House aide Kelly Sadler responded to Sen. John McCain’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director by saying Thursday morning that ‘he’s dying anyway.'” (RELATED: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Says White House Leakers ‘Should Be Fired’).
Her comments were inappropriate. However, even in private moments with staff, White House officials must be on guard at all times about what they say.
Media reports note the White House had been planning an exit for Sadler for the last two weeks, according to a senior administration official. There was talk about relocating her to another agency or department outside of the White House. At this point, it remains unclear if she is going somewhere else or leaving the administration entirely.
Sadler did apologize to McCain’s daughter Meghan in a phone call. But it clearly wasn’t well received by Meghan, as she immediately questioned publicly why Sadler was still employed by the White House.
The White House was furious that the comments were leaked. Top officials bemoaned an environment where presidential aides could not speak their minds in meetings, as all comments can apparently make it to the press if someone has an ax to grind.
Sadler angered communications staffer Mercedes Schlapp when she told President Trump in the Oval Office that she believed Schlapp was responsible for some of the leaks. Schlapp was in the room at the same time.
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci defended Sadler:
Scaramucci, speaking to CNN after news broke of her termination, said: “Someone had it out for Kelly Sadler.”
“It’s an unforgivable statement—I’m not here suggesting the statement was OK—but what I am suggesting as someone that’s run a pretty decent corporation, that when you’re sitting inside the inner sanctum and somebody says something like that, to run outside the sanctum and rat on that person—I think that’s a terrible thing to do to the person.”
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He also tweeted, “Kelly Sadler is a world-class person who made a flippant off-hand remark in private. But instead of handling internally or attaching name to criticism, someone who wanted her fired leaked anonymously to press. This behavior is why people hate Washington.”
Kelly Sadler is a world-class person who made a flippant off-hand remark in private. But instead of handling internally or attaching name to criticism, someone who wanted her fired leaked anonymously to press. This behavior is why people hate Washington. https://t.co/hUdcTG51qO
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) June 6, 2018
Her last email to the media was on Tuesday morning, touting the Trump’s administration’s accomplishments over the first 500 days in office.
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