Lawmakers planning hearings over deadly Niger attack

Lawmakers planning hearings over deadly Niger attack
© Greg Nash

Two House committees are planning hearings in upcoming months to investigate the deadly ambush of U.S. soldiers in Niger, CNN reports.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Armed Services Committee are both planning sessions to investigate whether the mission that left four U.S. service members dead was properly planned and supported.

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Congressional sources told CNN that the ambush raises questions as to whether U.S. soldiers are operating in areas without sufficient air support or the capability to evacuate dead or wounded troops.

The October 2017 attack in a remote area of Niger by forces aligned with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) resulted in four U.S. service members' deaths. A 12-member U.S. force was overwhelmed by ISIS fighters despite U.S. intelligence assessing a low possibility of enemies in the area.

A spokesperson for the House Armed Services Committee declined to comment on the possibility of hearings. Press aides for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE became embroiled in controversy after the Niger attack when a Florida lawmaker accused the president of being insensitive during a call with the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who died in the ambush.

During a call with Myeshia Johnson, Trump reportedly told her that her husband “knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens it hurts anyway.”

“She has just lost her husband, she was just told that he cannot have an open casket funeral which gives her all kinds of nightmares about what his body must look, what his face must look, and this is what the president of the United States says to her,” Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonLawmakers celebrate 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote LGBT lawmakers say nation is ready for gay president Angela Davis, Ayanna Pressley lead rally in support of Ilhan Omar MORE (D-Fla.) told CNN.