McCain: Administration not being up front about Niger attack

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Sen. John McCain argued Wednesday that the Trump administration is not being forthcoming about the attack in Niger that left four US soldiers dead and two wounded.

Asked if he thinks Congress should launch an investigation into the attack, the chairman of the Senate armed services committee told reporters that first he would like to get the information that his panel “deserves and needs.”

“Then you decide whether a quote investigation is needed or not,” he said.

Pressed further on whether the administration was being up front about the ISIS-affiliated attack, McCain answered bluntly: “No.”

The Arizona Republican did not go into detail about what kind of information he was looking for, saying only that he was interested in “all the specifics.”

“That’s why we’re called the Senate armed services committee. It’s because we have oversight of our military,” he said. “So we deserve to have all the information.”

The Defense Department is conducting an initial review of the deadly attack, searching for precise answers as to how 50 ISIS-affiliated fighters were able to ambush the group of soldiers two weeks ago.

The comprehensive investigation of the timeline has been ordered by US Africa Command and includes all the military branches and elements of US intelligence agencies that were involved in the mission. Team members who were on the ground are being interviewed about what happened as well as preparations for the mission.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was asked in the press briefing Wednesday whether President Donald Trump was satisfied with he information he has received about the mission and ambush.

“I believe they’re still looking into the details of that,” Sanders replied. “But I don’t think that the President can ever be satisfied when there’s loss of life from men and women in uniform.”

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