As criticism continues to swirl around President Trump’s statements, denials, and outright lies regarding the death of four Green Berets in the African nation of Niger, it now appears the administration had a response to the deaths less than 24 hours after they occurred, but held back on releasing it.
“Staffers at the National Security Council drafted and circulated a statement of condolence for President Donald Trump to make almost immediately after a deadly ambush of U.S. soldiers in Niger earlier this month.
“But Trump never publicly issued the statement, and, some two weeks later, is now in hot water over his initial silence on the soldiers’ deaths and alleged controversial comments he made to a widow of one of the dead.”
The statement, which Politico was able to see a copy of, was written on October 5, just a day after the deaths of the four service members. It reads:
“Melania and I are heartbroken at the news that three U.S. service members were killed in Niger on October 4 while providing guidance and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these brave American soldiers and patriots. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers.
“We are also praying for the two U.S. service members who were injured in the incident. We wish them a complete and swift recovery.
“The heroic Americans who lost their lives yesterday did so defending our freedom and fighting violent extremism in Niger. Our administration and our entire nation are deeply grateful for their sacrifice, for their service, and for their patriotism.”
So the question arises: Why did the White House not release the statement when it was written? Could it be because in doing so the administration would have had to reveal there were American boots on the ground in a nation they had not previously disclosed?
Or could the answer lie in the fact that this administration is filled with rank amateurs, many of whom have zero experience in governing? Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented:
“Somebody screwed up here, okay? You don’t let that amount of time pass when our men and women in uniform have been killed.”
And now, as usual with Trump, he’s trying to cover his ass after screwing up yet another duty of his office.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org