Former Vice President Joe Biden had two words to describe the moral standing of the Trump administration after a White House aide made a cruel joke about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) this week: Rock. Bottom.
“People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration,” Biden said in a statement Friday. “It happened yesterday.”
On Thursday, White House aide Kelly Sadler mocked the health of the Arizona senator and Vietnam veteran, who is fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“He’s dying anyway,” Sadler said when referring to McCain’s opposition to the appointment of Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the CIA. The White House reportedly confirmed Sadler’s statement and said the “joke ... fell flat.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders didn’t deny the comments on Friday, but declined to address the specifics on the grounds of not wanting “to validate a leak.”
Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 of a glioblastoma, the same type of brain tumor McCain has been diagnosed with. Biden comforted Meghan McCain last year about her father’s illness and recently visited the elder McCain at his home in Arizona.
“John McCain is a genuine hero – a man of valor whose sacrifices for his country are immeasurable. As he fights for his life, he deserves better – so much better,” Biden said.
Here’s his statement in full:
People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday.
John McCain is a genuine hero – a man of valor whose sacrifices for his country are immeasurable. As he fights for his life, he deserves better – so much better.
Given this White House’s trail of disrespect toward John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule; she is the epitome of it.
Our children learn from our example. The lingering question is whose example will it be. I am certain it will be John’s.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.