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CNN's Chris Cuomo mediates a brawl over who the real victim is in the White House 'joke' about McCain 'dying'

"The Trump administration, following the president's lead on apologies — which is: Never give one," Chris Cuomo said on Monday's New Day. White House communications aide Kelly Sadler reportedly told Meghan McCain she would publicly apologize for "joking" about Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel not mattering because he's "dying anyway," but she hasn't.

"Help me, fellas, I don't get this one," Cuomo told Weekly Standard chief Bill Kristol and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, whose wife, Mercedes, works in the White House and, according to a leaker, told colleagues she stands with Sadler. Why not publicly apologize and move on? "Because Donald Trump doesn't want to," Kristol said, making a "fish rots from the head down" argument. Schlapp defended Sadler, saying "it showed character on her part to immediately call and to apologize."

The "real problem with the Trump White House" is that "certain staff" members "leak almost everything in almost any meeting they can get in," and "it's a big threat to the agenda," Schlapp said. "I'm glad they're leaking," Kristol said. "We get a little window into what kinds of people are working in that White House."

Cuomo asked Schlapp "why the president didn't own this and why the White House didn't do what administrations would do in this case." "And why she said it — you're being too nice here, Chris," Kristol cut in. Schlapp said Sadler is his friend, he feels "bad that she's going through this," and "she's also a little bit of a victim here." Those of us not in the meeting "don't know what Kelly meant by that term," he added. "She could have meant it very matter-of-factly, she could have meant it in a different way." Peter Weber