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The Latest: Aide’s McCain comment not mentioned at GOP lunch

May 15, 2018

President Donald Trump waves to members of the media as he walks across the South Lawn to board Marine One at the White House in Washington, Monday, May 14, 2018, for a short trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s meeting with Republican senators (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

The subject of whether the White House owes Sen. John McCain an apology for an aide’s disparaging comment did not come up during President Donald Trump’s lunch meeting Tuesday with Republican senators, GOP senators said.

But the Senate’s top Republican told reporters afterward that the White House official who disparaged the Arizona Republican should apologize. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the official, communications aide Kelly Sadler, “should and apologize publicly.”

Sadler had dismissed McCain’s opposition to Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel in a private meeting by saying, “He’s dying anyway.” She has apologized privately to Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter, but has not issued a public apology.

The 81-year-old McCain was diagnosed in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

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12:07 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s Capitol Hill lunch with Senate Republicans comes as the White House and its GOP allies try to coalesce around a political message ahead of the midterm elections.

Trump routinely drops in on congressional Republicans. The White House says the meeting Tuesday is to discuss the administration’s agenda, as well as the upcoming Senate vote on Trump’s nominee for CIA director.

Senators say Trump will discuss the economy and his upcoming summit with North Korea, two topics that Republicans believe are crowd-pleasers among the electorate they need to motivate to go to the polls.

Republicans are increasingly relying on the president to help protect the GOP’s slim 51-49 majority in the Senate this fall.

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