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 TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff 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 WilsonTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Democratic rep reconsiders wearing trademark hats because of 'racists who taunt me' MORE (D-Fla.) told CNN.