Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he had spent part of the past weekend with Sen. John McCain, telling senators that he “didn’t want to miss the opportunity to tell him what his friendship meant to me.”

“John and Cindy and I had a chance to sit on their back porch and reminisce,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor, referring to the Arizona Republican and his wife. “He still had plenty to say about work, I assure you. He misses his colleagues. He’d rather be here. And I told him we miss him, too. All of the jokes, the smart-alecky comments — he’s a joy to be around.”

McConnell did not comment directly on McCain’s prognosis, though he sometimes grew emotional as he described the time with his colleague. He also did not comment on the controversy over a White House aide, Kelly Sadler, who allegedly said last week that McCain was “dying anyway” and didn’t need to be considered in the confirmation fight over the new director of the CIA. (McCain had opposed the president’s nominee, Gina Haspel.)

Other Republicans have weighed in on the controversy. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) told reporters on Monday that “the person who said it should apologize” and that the comment was “totally inappropriate.”

Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.