President Trump has been heavily criticized over the last couple of weeks for taking 12 days to comment on the attack in Niger that resulted in the deaths of four U.S. Green Berets. He finally addressed the attack during a press conference on Monday afternoon. However, instead of focusing on the Green Berets, he used his time to defend his slow response and claim that President Obama rarely called the families of fallen soldiers, as he plans to do.
‘Other presidents did not call, they would write letters, and some presidents didn’t do anything.
‘I like, when I can, the combination of a call and also a letter.’
After those less-than-satisfactory remarks, a number of people have suggested that Trump might be hiding information about the attack.
In an interview with The Hill on Tuesday, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) said that the Trump administration has not been forthcoming with information about the attack. He also said that he had a better relationship with President Obama’s defense secretary — Ash Carter — than he does with Carter’s successor, James Mattis.
‘I had a better working relationship, as far as information back and forth, with Ash Carter than I do with an old friend of 20 years.’
McCain went on to say that he feels the same way about Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster.
‘I think they had this idea that once Trump won that we are a unicameral government.’
The senator is expecting to receive information from the Pentagon regarding the situation in Niger later on Tuesday afternoon.
‘We’ve been waiting for weeks and weeks. We will not sit by without having a complete understanding of what’s going on.’
McCain is not the only senator to speak out about the Trump administration’s silence. During an interview with CNN on Tuesday morning, Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) said that the White House needs to be more forthcoming about the attack.
‘I think the administration has to be more clear about our role in Niger and our role in other areas in Africa and other parts of the globe. They have to connect it to a strategy. They should do that. I think that the inattention to this issue is not acceptable.’
Trump has also received criticism from Khizr and Gazala Khan, the Gold Star parents with whom Trump picked a fight during the 2016 election. The Khans released a statement on Tuesday saying that Trump has displayed a “lack of empathy” with his “selfish and divisive actions.”
‘We are deeply saddened at the news of the death of our four brave hero sons serving our nation on an important mission in Africa. We stand with the families in this moment of grief.
‘We are also saddened to see unbecoming of the president behavior of Trump, his lack of empathy, selfish and divisive actions have undermined the dignity of the high office of the presidency, one more time as he has shown the nation him undeserving of the leadership of our great nation.’
Featured image via William Thomas Cain/Getty Images.