Soldier’s death in Niger stokes questions, anger
by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/23/17, 11:30 am
WASHINGTON—While President Donald Trump and the widow of a U.S. soldier who died in Niger continue their public feud, lawmakers are raising questions about how and why the military operation that killed Sgt. La David Johnson went wrong. Johnson was one of four soldiers killed Oct. 4 in an ambush in Niger. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC on Sunday he wasn’t aware the United States had 1,000 soldiers stationed in Niger until the attack. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., admitted to MSNBC he also was ignorant to the Niger military operation. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are scheduled to testify Oct. 30 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about Niger and whether Congress needs to vote on a new authorization of use of military force. Trump denied Monday he forgot Johnson’s name during a condolence call with his widow. “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” Trump tweeted Monday morning. Myeshia Johnson told Good Morning America Trump’s response to her husband’s death angered her: “I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name and that’s what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?”
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.