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 TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president 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 WilsonTrump, Obamas and Clintons among leaders mourning Aretha Franklin Clyburn rips Trump over Omarosa 'dog' comment: 'I don’t know of anything that has been more troubling to me' Dem lawmaker calls Trump racist in response to 'dog' comment MORE (D-Fla.) told CNN.