White House Chief of Staff 'Appalled' by 'El Chapo' Guzman's Comments in Interview With Sean Penn

PHOTO: Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the press as he is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican soldiers and marines at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Mexico, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.PlayEduardo Verdugo/AP PHOTO
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A top White House official said he was "appalled" by comments made by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in his interview with actor Sean Penn and called it “very good news” the notorious drug lord was recaptured.

“I was appalled by his bragging … about an epidemic that's sweeping this country on heroin addiction,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s "This Week." “I was appalled by his bragging to the interviewers in Rolling Stone that he moves more heroin than anyone in the world.”

McDonough was responding to the interview posted Saturday by Rolling Stone, in which Penn revealed he was in contact with Guzman following his escape from a Mexican prison last summer.

While Mexican government sources told ABC News Penn and Kate del Castillo, the actress who Penn says helped arrange the meeting, are under investigation for their "interview" with Guzman, McDonough did not mention the potential for an investigation by federal authorities.

“We'll let somebody else sort out what Sean Penn did and didn't do,” he said. “'El Chapo's' where he should be."

PHOTO: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough speaks during an event at the Department of State in Washington, Nov. 16, 2015.Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough speaks during an event at the Department of State in Washington, Nov. 16, 2015.

McDonough also responded to comments by Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, who called the interview between Penn and Guzman “grotesque.”

“We hope that Senator Rubio, if he is appalled about this, will stop those in his party who would appeal the Affordable Care Act, which has done more for mental health treatment and addiction treatment and substance abuse treatment than anything that we've seen in decades,” McDonough said.