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McCain May Turn to Subpoena to Get Info on Niger Ambush

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has sent team to Niger to investigate deadly attack
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2017 4:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Pentagon has dispatched a team to Niger to figure out exactly what happened in an attack two weeks ago that left four US soldiers dead and two others injured, the New York Daily News reports. Despite the deadly attack happening Oct. 4, officials tell NBC News they still have pretty much no idea about what happened. "We need to collect some very basic raw facts," one defense official says, adding the confusion surrounding the attack was "tremendous." According to CNN, we know the US soldiers were conducting an exercise in Niger when they were ambushed by 50 fighters linked to ISIS. The Defense Department review of the ambush hopes to determine if the soldiers were prepared for the attack, if they had protective equipment, if they adequately responded, and more.

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One person who doesn't want to wait for the Pentagon to get answers: Sen. John McCain. McCain on Wednesday said he believes the Trump administration has more information on the attack than it's sharing with Congress, and he may resort to a subpoena to get that information without waiting on the investigation. "That's not how the system works. We're coequal branches of government," McCain said Thursday. "We should be informed at all times." Jim Mattis says the military doesn't yet have the facts on the attack, Reuters reports. “We, in the Department of Defense, like to know what we are talking about before we talk and so we do not have all the accurate information yet," the Defense secretary said Thursday. He says the administration will release the information "as rapidly as we get it." (Read more Niger stories.)

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