Ambush in Niger kills four

Will Sieracki, Reporter

     Four U.S. soldiers were ambushed and killed in Tongo Tongo, Niger, by members of ISGS (Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.) The four U.S. soldiers that were killed were Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Sgt. La David Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. The highlight here is Sgt. La David Johnson, after it took 48 hours to find his body, which was a mile away from the battlefield.

 

     The ambush was the deadliest combat incident on U.S. soldiers since President Trump took office back in January. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly briefed the President on the day of the ambush, and then Trump didn’t make a public statement for nearly two weeks. That alone drew plenty of criticism from the media. But on October 16th, Trump called La David Johnson’s widow to offer condolences. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) was present when the President made the call, and she claimed that Trump told the widow that Johnson “knew what he signed up for,” and referred to him on the call only as “your guy,” which was construed to mean that Trump didn’t bother to learn the fallen soldier’s name. President Trump disputed Wilson’s story, saying that he “had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife” and accused Rep. Wilson of lying. A couple of days later, on October 18th, Sgt. Johnson’s mother defended Wilson, confirming her story and that she “was in the car and heard the full conversation.”

     Recently, Chief of Staff Kelly defended Trump’s call with Johnson’s widow. Four days ago, Myeshia Johnson, La David Johnson’s widow, appeared on Good Morning America and said the call “made her cry even worse.” She said that she didn’t like the President’s tone and that she broke down and cried when he couldn’t remember his name. The military also refused to let Johnson see her husband’s body, which drew even more attention to the situation. What should have been a time for Trump to be human and give condolences to a grieving military widow has turned into a multi-week long political firestorm.