Mercedes Schlapp walked out on Michelle Wolf’s performance in disgust when the comedian made fun of White House officials, but now Donald Trump’s strategic communications director has apparently changed her mind about offensive jokes.
A report this week claimed that Schlapp said in a private White House meeting that she “stands with” Kelly Sadler, the fellow White House official who joked in a different private meeting that John McCain’s opinion does not matter because he would be dying soon. As Axios reported, Schlapp made it known that she supported the embattled Sadler, even as members of McCain’s family and members of both political parties have called on the White House to apologize — and to fire Sadler.
“You can put this on the record… I stand with Kelly Sadler,” Mercedes Schlapp reportedly said during the meeting.
As many recalled, it was Schlapp who grew so indignant during Michelle Wolf’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner performance that she and her husband walked out. Wolf mocked Donald Trump for lying about his wealth and also took aim at Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders for lying in their interviews.
As the report noted, Mercedes Schlapp was expressing her support for those targeted by leaks to the press from within the White House. Ironically, Schlapp’s private words of support for Kelly Sadler leaked to the press by several people who were present at the meeting.
During a W.H. Comms team meeting, strategic comms director Mercedes Schlapp said: “You can put this on the record... I stand with Kelly Sadler.”— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 12, 2018
Sources tell Axios leaders spent more time focused on the leak, than that it was said in the first place. https://t.co/QEyGNShHJU
Despite coming under fire for the joke about the terminally ill John McCain, the White House has refused to apologize or to condemn the remark. Speaking to the press on Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to comment on Kelly Sadler’s dig at McCain, saying she would not discuss accounts that had been leaked.
Sanders also bristled at questions about whether Donald Trump set a tone of disrespect toward McCain during the 2016 campaign when he made fun of McCain for being captured by the North Vietnamese, saying he was not a war hero because he had been captured and tortured.
There is no indication from the White House that Kelly Sadler would be fired for her joke about John McCain dying, and Mercedes Schlapp appears to be safe in her job as well.