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McCain: Trump has not provided enough information on Niger attack

Senate Armed Service Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLive coverage: McSally clashes with Sinema in Arizona Senate debate Is there difference between good and bad online election targeting? Murkowski not worried about a Palin challenge MORE (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that the Trump administration has not provided enough information on the attack in Niger that killed four U.S. Green Berets.

Asked by The Hill whether the administration has been forthcoming on information on Niger, McCain said “no.”

“I had a better working relationship, as far as information back and forth, with Ash Carter than I do with an old friend of 20 years,” McCain added.

Carter was the last Defense secretary for the Obama administration, which McCain often slammed for defense policies he disagreed with.

Asked for clarification on if the friend is Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisMattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration Overnight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Americans are safer from terrorism, but new threats are arising MORE, McCain said "yes" and added that includes national security adviser H.R. McMaster, as well.

"I think they had this idea that once Trump won that we are a unicameral government," McCain said.

On Oct. 4, four U.S. Green Berets were killed and two more were injured when their group of about a dozen U.S. soldiers and 40 Nigerien troops were ambushed during a joint patrol. The Pentagon has blamed self-radicalized, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria-affiliated militants for the attack.

President Trump did not personally comment on the attack until Monday, when he said he would call the families of the fallen soldiers “at some point in the time” and falsely claimed that President Obama and other past president did not call Gold Star families.

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McCain has been critical of the administration’s communication with Congress for months. He has pledged to block all Defense Department nominees until the administration provides more information on strategies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

On Tuesday, McCain said the Pentagon is expected to provide information he’s asked for later in the afternoon.

“We’ve been waiting for weeks and weeks,” he said. “We will not sit by without having a complete understanding of what’s going on.”

Asked whether he expects Tuesday’s information that will include more on Niger, McCain said, “We’ll find out.”

McCain’s criticism echoes that of his committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedFive changes Democrats will seek at Pentagon if they win power The Hill's Morning Report — Historic, high-stakes day for Kavanaugh and Ford Admiral defends record after coming under investigation in 'Fat Leonard' scandal MORE (D-R.I.), who earlier Tuesday told CNN he does not think the administration has been forthcoming enough about the attack in Niger.

"I think the administration has to be more clear about our role in Niger and our role in other areas in Africa and other parts of the globe,” Reed said. “They have to connect it to a strategy. They should do that. I think that the inattention to this issue is not acceptable.”