Trump rewarded aide with ‘a hug and kiss’ after she mocked McCain, Bolton book says

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Politicians on both sides of the aisle erupted in anger when news leaked in the spring of 2018 that an aide to President Donald Trump had privately made fun of John McCain’s battle with brain cancer.

But Trump had a very different reaction, according to John Bolton’s new book.

At first, Trump wanted to promote the communications aide, Kelly Sadler, because he thought her quip about the late Republican senator “dying anyway” was genius, Bolton writes in his soon-to-be-released book, “The Room Where It Happened.”

Ultimately, Trump did not bump Sadler’s pay grade, the ex-national security adviser writes.

But, in an Oval Office meeting shortly after her insensitive remark, Trump “rewarded her with a hug and kiss,” according to Bolton’s book, a copy of which was obtained by the New York Daily News before its June 23 publication.

Sadler made the comment while she and other White House staffers were railing against the ailing McCain for planning to vote against Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA director. “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler said at the time.

Bolton writes that many White House officials had wanted Sadler to apologize for the brash comment about McCain, a war hero who survived several years in a Vietnamese prison camp before representing Arizona in the Senate for over three decades.

But Sadler “refused and got away with it because Trump, who despised McCain, allowed her to,” according to Bolton.

Sadler left the White House a few months after her McCain comment to join a pro-Trump super PAC. She did not return a request for comment Friday.

A spokesman for the McCain family declined to comment.

Bolton, who was just a few weeks into his national security job when the Sadler debacle erupted, writes that it dawned on him afterward how toxic the Trump White House was.

“You can’t imagine how desperate I am to get out of here,” Bolton writes that then-chief of staff John Kelly told him after he asked why Sadler wasn’t being forced to apologize. “This is a bad place to work, as you will find out.”

The Sadler episode is one of many cringe-worthy anecdotes Bolton recalls in his tell-all book, which contains a laundry list of damning allegations about Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders and legally questionable uses of his office.

Throughout the book, Bolton kicks himself a bit for taking on the national security job and describes the Trump White House as being besieged by “chaos.”

“This is the very definition of confusion and disorder,” he writes.


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