May 14, 2018 11:24 AM

Meghan McCain had some harsh words on Twitter for actor Kumail Nanjiani after the Silicon Valley star said he wished her ailing father, Sen. John McCain, would have been more “vocal” about speaking up for minorities throughout his career.

Nanjiani, who earned a screenwriting Oscar nomination earlier this year for his film The Big Sick, kicked off the feud on Saturday when he appeared to comment on the news that White House aide Kelly Sadler reportedly mocked Sen. McCain, who was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer last year.

“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler reportedly said in a closed-door meeting one day after the Republican announced he opposed President Donald Trump‘s nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel.

“What was said about McCain was vile, but I wish the McCain’s had been as offended and vocal when vile stuff was said about other people/races/nationalities. Perhaps we wouldn’t be in this moment right now,” Nanjiani, 40, tweeted.

When one user countered Nanjiani’s argument by sharing a video of McCain defending Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, when constituents said they was “scared” about the possibility of an Obama presidency because he’s an “Arab,” the Pakistani-born star said he still wasn’t convinced.

“This is one example. Years ago. He has had many opportunities since then to take a stand, as the rhetoric and actions of his party were turning worse and worse. He also picked Sarah Palin as his running mate & ushered in this era of GOP politics.”

“Also ‘He’s not an Arab, he’s a decent family man” ain’t exactly great,” he also tweeted.

Although Meghan McCain, 33, did not respond immediately, she eventually addressed Nanjiani’s remarks on Monday morning, sharing the same video of her father defending Obama, and writing, “You mean like he did here? I could give you literally thousands of examples of my father speaking up against bigotry of all kinds but this video sums it up pretty concisely. You know nothing about my family or my father Kumail, nothing.”

Meghan McCain and Kumail Nanjiani
Lou Rocco/ABC/Getty; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/HBO

Many others on social media also came to Sen. McCain’s defense following Nanjiani’s comments, with one user pointing out that Sen. McCain and his wife adopted a daughter from Bangladesh and that he has an African-American daughter-in-law.

The feud, however, was short-lived. Although Nanjiani stopped short of apologizing, he told Meghan he never intended to “offend” her, and went on to compliment her father: “I could explain my point further but instead I will just say something I truly believe: if we had more politicians like your father, the world would be a better place.”

Meghan McCain quickly responded to say “thank you Kumail.”

Sen. McCain has been receiving a groundswell of support since Sadler’s reported comments were made public. Former Vice President Joe Biden fiercely defended his friend on Friday, while slamming the White House’s “trail of disrespect.”

RELATED VIDEO: Sarah Palin Reacts to John McCain’s Regrets Over Picking Her as Running Mate: ‘Perpetual Gut Punch’

Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy dynasty, also tweeted that “I actually feel bad for us as a country. I feel badly that we have lost our decency. We have forgotten how to respectfully disagree.”

McCain also received support from another unexpected source: legendary singer/actress Barbra Streisand.

.@SenJohnMcCain is a gentleman and people can agree to disagree but they do it with respect, not insults,” she tweeted Sunday, while sharing a photo of herself with McCain.

“He is also a courageous soldier who was beaten and imprisoned for 5 yrs but he refused an early release rather than betray his country.”

The White House has not denied Sadler’s comment, nor issued a direct apology. In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the administration responded, “We respect Senator McCain’s Service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”

Meghan spoke out about the White House’s failure to apologize on The View Monday morning, noting that “We have to be the leadership we don’t have right now.”

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg also addressed the White House on the show while defending her colleague: “Shame on ya. And you know what? Don’t apologize. Do apologize. She’s fine.”

And Meghan concurred: “I’m good.”


You May Like