Speed Reads


Trump says his 'great generals' were the ones who authorized tragic Niger mission

President Trump said Wednesday that he did not specifically authorize the Green Beret-led mission in Niger that left four U.S. soldiers dead earlier this month.

So far, details on what happened during the tragic mission have been thin: Twelve members of a Special Operations Task Force were reportedly traveling back to their base in the capital of Niamey on Oct. 4 when they were ambushed by 50 militants likely belonging to an Islamic State-affiliated group, CNN reports. The U.S. task force requested support, which was slow to arrive. Three soldiers were killed in the attack; the fourth, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, was initially missing. His body was recovered later almost a mile away from the ambush site.

"I have to say, we are decimating ISIS in the Middle East," Trump told reporters Wednesday. "What's happening is, they'll go to parts of Africa, they'll go to other places. When they get there, we meet them. It's a dangerous business, I have to say."

Trump said that while the Niger mission wasn't specifically authorized by him personally, "I have generals that are great generals. These are great fighters. These are warriors." For clarification, he added: "I gave them authority to do what's right so that we win. That's the authority they have." Watch the remarks below, beginning at the 8:02 mark. Jeva Lange