In a recent interview with TMZ, Hamptons summer renter and former president Bill Clinton spoke up in defense of John McCain following the remarks of Donald Trump‘s Special Assistant Kelly Sadler, who dismissed the Arizona Senator’s thoughts on prospective CIA Director Gina Haspel, because “he’s dying anyway.”
Speaking to TMZ as he left Manhattan’s Pierre Hotel on Friday morning, Clinton said of McCain, “In my lifetime, he’s one of the most remarkable patriots our country ever produced.” He went on to say, “I love the guy,” while acknowledging that they’ve had disagreements. “If it hadn’t been for John McCain, I don’t think I would’ve had the ability to…end the Vietnam War,” the former president said.
Clarifying his statement, Clinton said he was talking about reconciling any lingering animosity between the U.S. and North Vietnam, specifically the trade embargo, and getting a full accounting of American soldiers missing in action. “They’re now our best ally in Southeast Asia,” he pointed out.
McCain, 81 and battling brain cancer, spoke out against confirming Haspel as CIA director due to her involvement with waterboarding detainees after 9-11 and then covering it up. McCain was tortured while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and has been a staunch opponent of the United States using these kinds of barbaric methods he was forced to endure.
Sadler made her inflammatory remark Thursday morning in response to McCain’s opposition to Haspel’s confirmation. Currently Assistant CIA Director, Haspel was tapped by Trump to replace Mike Pompeo to lead the agency now that he is Secretary of State.
Haspel went before the Senate for her hearing on Wednesday and a vote is forthcoming. Republicans hold a 51–49 majority, but Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has said he will vote against her confirmation and McCain is advising others do the same while he recovers from a recent cancer treatment.