It’s been nearly two weeks since U.S. forces were ambushed in Niger, an attack that left four American servicemen dead. If it seems like this story hasn’t generated much in the way of national news, it may be because Donald Trump hasn’t said a word about it.
CNN had a report the other day on the president’s silence.
On Saturday October 7, the day the body of 25-year-old Army Sgt. La David Johnson was returned to Dover Air Force Base after he was killed in an ISIS ambush in Niger, President Donald Trump was golfing. It’s not known if the President ever planned to attend the return of remains ceremony at Dover as he has in the past. But since the ambush on October 4 in Niger, he has not commented publicly on the deadliest combat incident involving US troops since he took office. […]
The Pentagon has not provided a detailed accounting of the ambush by 50 ISIS affiliated fighters which left four US soldiers dead and two wounded and has said the incident remains under investigation. But CNN has talked to half a dozen US officials who describe details of the chaos and confusion which led to the troops being left on the ground for nearly an hour before help could get to the remote area of southwestern Niger where they were operating.
In fairness, the White House hasn’t been completely silent on the matter. Ten days ago, a reporter reminded Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “The body of another U.S. soldier has just been discovered by local forces in Niger, which brings to four the total number of Green Berets that were killed on Wednesday in Niger. So far there’s been no response to this by the president, no tweet from the president, no statement from the president.”
Sanders responded, “Obviously, anytime one of the members of our great military are injured, wounded, or killed in action, that is certainly something that we take very seriously. Our thoughts and prayers are with those individuals. We’re continuing to review and look into this. And as we have more details, we’ll certainly let you guys know.”
Since then, there’s been nothing from Trump World on the deadly incident.
My point is not to suggest that Republicans should launch into a Benghazi-like frenzy, complete with bizarre conspiracy theories about the delays in responding to the attack on the ground, and seven separate congressional investigations, but when four American servicemen are killed, it’s not unrealistic to think the president who routinely tweets random passing thoughts would at least briefly acknowledge their sacrifice.
Indeed, one of the oddities of Trump’s use of his platform is the selectivity of his areas of interest, even in the wake of violence. Does the president only speak out on developments he thinks he can use politically?