Military veterans, friends and family gather in Florida for the funeral of Sgt. La David Johnson, who died this month when his patrol was ambushed in Niger. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Military veterans, friends and family gathered in Cooper City, Florida on Saturday (October 21) for the funeral of Sergeant La David Johnson, who died this month when his patrol was ambushed in Niger. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Thursday he may consider issuing a subpoena because the White House has not been forthcoming with details of an ambush in Niger that left four U.S. soldiers dead. The attack earlier this month, which U.S. officials suspect was carried out by a local Islamic State affiliate, has thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counter-terrorism mission in the West African country, which has about 800 U.S. troops. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on Thursday that the incident was under investigation and defended the military's response, even as he acknowledged that it did not yet have all the accurate information on the incident. Initially, the Pentagon announced that three soldiers had been killed in the ambush. The body of a fourth soldier, Sergeant La David T. Johnson, was recovered more than a day later and questions have been raised about why it took as long as it did. President Trump denied an account by Representative Frederica Wilson of Florida this week, that he had told the widow of Sergeant Johnson that the man knew "what he signed up for." "I didn't say what that congresswoman said," Trump told reporters earlier in the day. "I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife who ... sounded like a lovely woman," he said. Sergeant Johnson's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that she was present during Trump's call to her son's widow and she supported the congresswoman's account of Trump's comment. "President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband," Jones-Johnson said.