Meghan McCain, the daughter of six-term Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, once again had to use her platform as a host of ABC’s The View to defend her father, who is currently under treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Thursday, multiple media reports said White House communications staffer Kelly Sadler dismissed concerns about McCain’s opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel, saying, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”
The View host Whoopi Goldberg opened Friday’s episode saying that ahead of Mother’s Day weekend, she had hoped the show’s panel would be discussing something happier than Sadler’s “insanely despicable” comments.
Meghan McCain told viewers not to “feel bad for me or my family. We’re really strong, there’s so much more love, and prayer, and amazing energy being generated towards us than anything negative at all.”
She added that she felt blessed because, “Dad’s actually doing really well right now.” Then, she spoke to Sadler directly.
“Kelly, here’s a little news flash, and this may be a little intense for 11 o’clock in the morning on a Friday, but, we’re all dying,” McCain said. “And it is not how you die, it is how you live.”
McCain also said she didn’t understand how the White House could be an environment where someone could make a comment like that and “can come to work the next day and still have a job.”
Sadler’s comment, which multiple sources said was intended as a joke, drew a poignant response from McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, within hours of the first reporting on it by The Hill.
“May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren,” Cindy McCain said in a tweet addressed to Sadler Thursday night.
The White House did not dispute the report about Sadler’s remark, but issued a statement saying, “We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”
This was the second time this week Meghan McCain criticized comments about her father on The View. Tuesday, she addressed Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who said he thought “it’s ridiculous” that McCain doesn’t want President Trump to attend his funeral.
“I would like everybody to take a collective breath and chill out on my dad for a second — especially Orrin Hatch,” she said. “We’re all doing good and hanging in. It’s a process, as anyone knows if you know anyone who has cancer, so please be kind and respectful of the fact that there’s a family here.”
Cindy McCain also chastised Fox Business Network and Making Money host Charles Payne Thursday for a comment made by retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney during a discussion about McCain’s opposition to Haspel and his opinion that torture is not effective.
“It worked on John,” McInerney said. “That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John,'” McInerney said, implying McCain collaborated with his North Vietnamese captors.
“Please choose your guest more wisely,” Cindy McCain cautioned Fox Business and Payne after the segment.
Meghan and Cindy McCain have responded to attacks on the ailing senator several times since his diagnosis. In February, both women responded to what they described as Trump’s “incredibly hurtful” attack on McCain on at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where Trump stirred up boos against McCain for his vote last summer against the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare.
In September, Meghan McCain said it was “abhorrent” that Trump reportedly mocked her father physically after that health care vote.
In the early weeks of his presidential campaign, Trump sparked national outrage when he said McCain is “not a war hero” because he was shot down and captured as a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War.