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John Bolton praises John McCain, dodges questions about aide's callous jokes

  • White House official Kelly Sadler has yet to publicly apologize over her crude remarks about John McCain 
  • On Thursday, Special Assistant Sadler said McCain's opposition to Trump's nominee for CIA director 'doesn't matter' because 'he's dying anyway' 
  • National Security Advisor John Bolton praised McCain, whose terminal cancer diagnosis was mocked by a White house official
  • Bolton told CNN the senator came to his defense when his nomination to be UN ambassador was under criticism in 2005 
  • Bolton said companies in affected industries have between 90 days and six months to wind down operations in Iran or run risk of facing stiff U.S. penalties
    He added that 'it's possible' the Trump administration will impose sanctions on companies that don't play ball
  • European leaders are lobbying the Trump administration not reimpose external sanctions that could hurt their economies
  • Trump himself said in October that he told Frances's Macron and the UK's May 'take all the money you can get' from Iran

By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent For Dailymail.com and Jessa Schroeder For Dailymail.com

Published: 15:20 EDT, 13 May 2018 | Updated: 19:32 EDT, 13 May 2018

Kelly Sadler has promised to apologize for her crude remarks about John McCain's deadly brain cancer, according to a new report. 

Special Assistant Sadler, who brazenly said in a Thursday meeting that McCain's opposition to Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, 'doesn't matter' because 'he's dying anyway,' spoke with Meghan McCain over the phone where she expressed regret about the offensive jokes.

The senator's daughter asked Sadler to issue a public apology, but The View co-host told ABC she assumes that 'will never come.'

On Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders acknowledged Sadler's remarks as inappropriate and declined to comment further during an internal meeting.

Sanders was later said to be visibly upset while speaking on the matter to the White House communications staff.

White House official Kelly Sadler (pictured at the White House on Thursday, March 22, 2018) has yet to publicly apologize over her crude remarks regarding John McCain's declining health
White House official Kelly Sadler (pictured at the White House on Thursday, March 22, 2018) has yet to publicly apologize over her crude remarks regarding John McCain's declining health

White House official Kelly Sadler (pictured at the White House on Thursday, March 22, 2018) has yet to publicly apologize over her crude remarks regarding John McCain's declining health

Sadler said Thursday that McCain's opposition to Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, 'doesn't matter' because 'he's dying anyway'. The senator is pictured  during a special Twilight Tattoo performance November 14, 2017 at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia
Sadler said Thursday that McCain's opposition to Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, 'doesn't matter' because 'he's dying anyway'. The senator is pictured  during a special Twilight Tattoo performance November 14, 2017 at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia

Sadler said Thursday that McCain's opposition to Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, 'doesn't matter' because 'he's dying anyway'. The senator is pictured  during a special Twilight Tattoo performance November 14, 2017 at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia

Sadler reportedly spoke to Meghan McCain over the phone this weekend to apologize for the crude comments
Sadler reportedly spoke to Meghan McCain over the phone this weekend to apologize for the crude comments

Sadler reportedly spoke to Meghan McCain over the phone this weekend to apologize for the crude comments

She was allegedly more infuriated about the fact Sadler's comment had leaked, than the comment itself, Axios reported.

Sanders told off the staff for sharing the content of internal meetings with the press.

'I know this conversation is going to leak too, and that's just disgusting,' Sanders added.

On Sunday, President Trump's national security advisor spoke highly of Senator McCain.

Bolton told Jake Tapper for CNN's State of the Union: 'I wasn't in that meeting, I don't know what was said or what was done. I'll just say this - John McCain came to my defense in 2005 when my nomination to be UN ambassador was under criticism.

'He and I didn't know eachother very well at the time. We certainly didn't agree on every position that he or I had taken, but he spent countless hours trying to help me out,' Bolton said.

'Much of it was behind the scenes and there was no political upside for John McCain at all, but he did it because he thought I was being treated unfairly.'

'I'll never forget it, I'll be grateful forever, and I wish John McCain and his family nothing but the best.'

When Tapper asked Bolton whether he believed the White House felt an obligation to apologize for the remarks, Sadler declined to elaborate.  

Trump's national security advisor John Bolton praised John McCain in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday
Trump's national security advisor John Bolton praised John McCain in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday

Trump's national security advisor John Bolton praised John McCain in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday

Bolton however dodged to speak further when ashed questions about a White House official's callous health jokes about McCain
Bolton however dodged to speak further when ashed questions about a White House official's callous health jokes about McCain

Bolton however dodged to speak further when ashed questions about a White House official's callous health jokes about McCain

'I wish John McCain and his family nothing but the best,' Bolton said in the interview
'I wish John McCain and his family nothing but the best,' Bolton said in the interview

'I wish John McCain and his family nothing but the best,' Bolton said in the interview

He also refused to say whether the United States would punish European companies that do not cease their business operations in Iran by the end of this year.

Companies within affected industries between 90 days and six months to wind down operations in Iran or run the risk of facing stiff penalties now that the United States is no longer a party to an international accord that lifted sanctions on Tehran.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said on CNN that 'it's possible' the Trump administration will impose sanctions on companies that run afoul of the new U.S. policies.

'It depends on the conduct of other governments,' he stated.

European leaders are committed to remaining in the agreement with Tehran that lifted economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern country so long as it abided by the terms of a 2015 nuclear deal. 

But a host of companies are now faced with the prospect of doing business with U.S. or protecting their interests in Tehran.

In his remarks announcing the United States' withdraw from the deal, President Trump threatened, 'We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.'

Bolton said in a briefing with reporters immediately after the Tuesday announcement that it would be up to the Treasury Department to determine which affected companies, if any, would get a pass.  

British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the issue in a Friday phone call with Trump, a spokesperson for the European leader said. 

D would punish European companies that do not cease their business operations in Iran by the end of this year
D would punish European companies that do not cease their business operations in Iran by the end of this year

Bolton refused on Sunday to say whether the United States would punish European companies that do not cease their business operations in Iran by the end of this year

Donald Trump last night tore up the Iran nuclear deal, which could force Britain's biggest businesses out of the country
Donald Trump last night tore up the Iran nuclear deal, which could force Britain's biggest businesses out of the country

Donald Trump last night tore up the Iran nuclear deal, which could force Britain's biggest businesses out of the country

'The Prime Minister reiterated the Government's position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld, as the best way of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

'The Prime Minister raised the potential impact of US sanctions on those firms which are currently conducting business in Iran.'  

Major British businesses with interests in Iran include Rolls-Royce, Vodafone and British Airways. UK companies have invested £450 billion into Tehran since the U.S. and Europe lifted sanctions after the signing of the accord with partners Russia and China.

Finance ministers in France and Germany pushed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to grant extensions or waivers to businesses that made lucrative deals with Tehran in the period that sanctions were lifted. 

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said European states will also try to impose sanctions-blocking measures through the European Commission.

'Do we accept extraterritorial sanctions? The answer is no,' Le Maire said. 

'Do we accept that the United States is the economic gendarme of the planet? The answer is no. Do we accept the vassalization of Europe in commercial matters? The answer is no.'  

Le Maire is seeking exemptions for Renault, Total, Sanofi, Danone and Peugeot and other companies already doing business with Tehran. 

Trump's new ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, suggested that exemptions were unlikely, saying Thursday, 'German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.' 

European companies did not have an immediate have a reaction to possibility that they would have to cease operations in Iran or be barred from doing business with the U.S. other than to say in statements that they were monitoring the situation.

'We are examining the announcement and its potential implications,' Rolls Royce said. 'We conduct business in all countries, including Iran, in accordance with all relevant UK, EU or other national sanctions and export control regulations.' 

British Airways, which operates six flights a week between London Heathrow and Tehran, said, 'We constantly review our network to ensure that our routes match our customers' needs and are commercially viable. ​ ​We are in regular contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.' 

Trump's tough talk now on sanctions is at odds with what he told France's Emmanuel Macon and May just six months ago as he moved toward yanking the U.S. out of the deal. 

He said in October that he told the allies 'take all the money you can get' from Tehran.

'Actually, Emmanuel called up, and he talked to me. And I said, look, Emmanuel, they just gave Renault a lot of money. Take their money; enjoy yourselves,' Trump said then. 

The U.S. president said that the European leaders wanted him to stay in the deal he'd said he'd exit since he was a candidate because of the financial implications of leaving it. 

'You know, Iran is spending money in various countries. And I've always said it, and I say to them: Don't do anything. Don't worry about it. Take all the money you can get. They're all friends of mine,' Trump said.

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