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Senators Had No Clue U.S. Troops Were In Niger
In interviews given on CNN and NBC, a number of key Senators are saying they had no idea that the United States had deployed troops to Niger despite a claim from the Pentagon that Congress had been kept in the loop.
The operation has come under scrutiny in recent days in response to the deaths of four U.S. soldiers who were killed Oct. 4 in an ISIS ambush.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) spoke with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” Monday morning and whether or not he knew about troops being in Niger.
“I did not,” said Casey. “When you consider what happened here, the four sergeants lost their lives, I think there’s a lot of work that both parties and both branches of government need to do. Not only to stay more informed but to focus on why we’re there and what happened to get to the bottom of this.”
Two other key Senators said they were left in the dark about the operation.
“I didn’t know there was 1,000 troops in Niger,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) on “Meet the Press” Sunday. “They are going to brief us next week as to why they were there and what they were doing.”
“I got a little insight on why they were there and what they were doing. I can say this to the families: They were there to defend America. They were there to help allies. They were there to prevent another platform to attack America and our allies,” he added.
“We don’t know exactly where we’re at in the world, militarily, and what we’re doing. So John McCain is going to try to create a new system to make sure that we can answer the question (about) why we were there,” he went on. “We’ll know how many soldiers are there, and if somebody gets killed there, that we won’t find out about it in the paper.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer later appeared on the program and also claimed he didn’t know we had troops in Niger.
This whole ordeal is looking shadier by the day and is only made worse by the fact that the President has yet to even publicly acknowledge the deaths of the soldiers. He’s been too busy attacking the widow and trying to make the situation all about him. It will be interesting to see how Democratic senators response once they get a more thorough briefing of what actually happened and why we were there in the first place.