Kelly Riddell Sadler is a former American political staffer and a former journalist and columnist. She wrote “Water Cooler”, a daily political blog for The Washington Times website, and was a regular contributor to the Times on political issues.
She served as a special assistant to the president in the White House Office of Communications from May 2017 to June 2018 and is now (07/11/2020) serving as Trump’s campaign communication expert.
Her tenure in the White House was marked by an incident during a May 2018 meeting where she mocked Senator John McCain’s failing health by saying, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.” On June 5, 2018, the White House announced she was “no longer employed within the executive office of the president,” although she was not removed due to her McCain comment, but rather due to her accusing her manager Mercedes Schlapp during an Oval Office meeting with Trump of leaking information to the press, as Schlapp looked on – a meeting that itself was leaked.
Sadler has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese and International Relations from Hamilton College. She has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University.
Sadler worked in strategy consulting for Kaiser Associates, and later as a Bloomberg News reporter from 2009 to 2011. She subsequently was a reporter and editor for the Washington Times. Her work has appeared on Fox News, U.S. News & World Report, and the Albany Times Union. She has appeared numerous times on political shows including The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, and Media Buzz.
In January 2015, Sadler garnered significant media attention when she alleged that political donor George Soros had given at least $33 million in one year to support activist groups during the Ferguson protests. Her allegations were reported in outlets including Newsmax, Fox News, RT, The Daily Mail, the New York Daily News, and The Daily Beast.
In June 2015, Sadler alleged that the Clinton Foundation had collected $26 million in donations from a fund-raising arm in Sweden at the same time the country was lobbying Cl State Department to forego sanctions that threatened business connections with Iran. The story received significant media attention. The report received the Robert D. G. Lewis Watchdog Journalism Award from the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, for the entry that “best exemplifies journalism aimed at protecting the public from abuses by those who would betray the public trust.”
In February 2016, the International Business Times reported that Sadler had given Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina the maximum individual campaign contribution of $2,700 in 2015. Washington Times Executive Editor Christopher Dolan responded that this was a violation of company policy and that the paper would retroactively disclose Sadler’s ties to maintain journalistic integrity.
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