WASHINGTON - White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told staffers Friday that an aide's recent comment about Sen. John McCain was inappropriate but shouldn't have been leaked to the media.

Sanders told communications' staffers in a private meeting that it was inappropriate for aide Kelly Sadler to dismiss McCain's opinion during a recent closed-door meeting because, Sadler said, "he's dying anyway."

Sanders said the leak was selfish and distracted from the president's agenda and his welcoming home of three Americans detained in North Korea and an upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un.

That's according to a person familiar with the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe that private meeting.

Sanders declined to condemn Sadler's comments Friday, saying she wouldn't "validate a leak" from an internal staff meeting."