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Congress Was Repeatedly Informed That US Forces Were In Niger

Sen. Lindsey Graham gets off the Senate subway on his way to an amendment vote on the GOP heath care legislation on Capitol Hill, July 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)Sen. Lindsey Graham gets off the Senate subway on his way to an amendment vote on the GOP heath care legislation on Capitol Hill, July 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Members on Capitol Hill complained they did not know the extent of the U.S. troop presence in Niger following the ambush and killing of four U.S. servicemen there last week, though the Trump administration repeatedly told Congress about military efforts there.

The Obama administration even told Congress about a troop deployment there in 2013.

“I’m arguing that the current authorization as long as it’s related to radical Islam is enough. But here’s — the military determines who the threats are, they come up with the engagement policy and if we don’t like what the military does, we can defund the operation. But I didn’t know there was a thousand troops in Niger,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. (RELATED: Two Top Senators Didn’t Know There Are 1,000 American Troops In Niger)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also said Sunday that he did not know the extent of the U.S. presence in Niger.

Additionally, the White House sent a letter to Congress in June saying 645 U.S. service members were in Niger and 300 were in Cameroon, and Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of Africa Command testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March there were “approximately 1,000 personnel conducting 12 named operations across a nine-nation region.”

In March, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing where Graham was present along with other members of the committee, when all were informed that U.S. forces were deployed in Benin, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

In 2013, President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress announcing the Pentagon deployed 100 troops to Niger to conduct unmanned reconnaissance flights over Mali, Reuters reported at the time.

“This deployment will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region,” President Obama said in the letter.

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Kerry Picket
the authorKerry Picket
Kerry Picket is a Washington D.C. based reporter at The Daily Caller and fill-in radio host at SiriusXM Patriot 125. Picket has worked has at other outlets including The Washington Times, where she began reporting on Capitol Hill. Before that, she produced news content for Robin Quivers of “The Howard Stern Show” on SiriusXM, wrote entertainment news for MTV Radio and worked as a production assistant at MTV.com.

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