White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Friday confirmed that Kelly Sadler, the top White House aide accused of joking about Sen. John McCain's death in a staff meeting Thursday, is still employed by the administration. But Sanders otherwise repeatedly declined to comment on the reported remark, or how President Trump views McCain, who is being treated for brain cancer.
As The Hill first reported and other publications later confirmed, Sadler, in a conversation about McCain's disapproval of Mr. Trump's pick to run the CIA, said, "It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway." But Sanders declined to comment further, and only divulged Sadler's employment status after she was pressed about it a second time.
"I'm not gonna' comment on an internal staff meeting," Sanders said multiple times, when reporters prodded her as to whether the White House believes it should address those remarks.
, the senator's daughter who works as a co-host of ABC's "The View," responded to Sadler's reported comments on the show Friday morning.
"I don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job," she said.
Sanders also fielded questions about another administration official — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The New York Times first reported Thursday that Nielsen told colleagues she might resign after Mr. Trump berated her in a meeting about border security. The White House has not denied that characterization of events. Sanders would not confirm the president's comments, but did confirm that Mr. Trump is frustrated about illegal immigration.
"I think not only does the president have a right to be frustrated, he has a right to be angry," Sanders said. "And he is. And he's going to express that. He's done it both publicly, and he's going to continue to do that until we can actually fix this problem."
On the foreign policy front, Sanders also said Mr. Trump is going into a June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "with eyes wide open," when a reporter pointed out the seeming discrepancies in North Korean and U.S. objectives.
"Look, the president is going into this with eyes wide open. As he's said many times, we'll see what happens," Sanders said.