Four U.S. soldiers, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgts. Bryan Black, Dustin Wright, and Jeremiah Johnson were slain in an Islamic State ambush this month in Niger as part of a counterterrorism mission. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been reportedly stymied trying to get answers that could explain what led to the attack. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee shared his frustration with The Hill Wednesday.
Even though he has a history with Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, McCain said he actually found the last administration more transparent.
Asked by The Hill whether the administration has been forthcoming with information on Niger, McCain said “no.”
“I had a better working relationship, as far as information back and forth, with [President Obama’s Defense secretary] Ash Carter than I do with an old friend of 20 years,” McCain said.
That's saying a lot, considering McCain did not have many positive things to say about the Obama administration's foreign policy.
The Arizona senator has been especially at odds with Trump this week after he denounced worldviews that amount to "half-baked, spurious nationalism." McCain denied that he was targeting Trump with those remarks, but the president certainly perceived it that way.
"At some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty,” Trump told radio host Chris Plante.
Trump is also currently getting flak for supposedly having an insensitive conversation with one of the widows of the soldiers who was killed in Niger. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) is telling the press that Trump told Myeshia Johnson, widow to Army Sgt. La David Johnson, that her husband knew "what he signed up for, but it still hurts I guess."
Trump denied that claim and the White House said it was "disgusted" that Wilson is politicizing the phone call. Nevertheless, Wilson stands by her story and is demanding an investigation into the Niger mission.