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00:00:00
>> So we do not have all the accurate information yet.>> Two weeks after four US Special Forces soldiers were ambushed and killed in Niger, Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday told reporters they'll have to wait longer for the full story.>> We will release it as rapidly as we get it.
00:00:16
>> The comments from Mattis as well as from White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, come in and made a growing outcry on Capitol Hall over the attack, and the delay in explaining what happened.>> There's an investigation ongoing.>> Pentagon reporter Idris Ali.>> What we do know is that earlier this month a joint patrol of US and troops came under attack by what US officials believe was an ISIS affiliated group.
00:00:38
About 12 of them were US soldiers and they were basically on patrol to speak with local leaders. They were not expecting an ambush, and Mattis himself that they expected contact to be unlikely. What we do know is that when the ambush took place there was no armed air support at the time.
00:00:56
So it raises a question of what the intelligence was that sort of made it possible for this to continue.>> Among those who have been pressing the hardest Senator John McCain head of the Arms Services Committee.>> Do you feel the administrations been forth coming up to this point about what happened there?
00:01:09
>> Of course not.>> McCain told reporter Thursday he may need to use the Senates subpoena power to get answers.>> Basically they had contracted about 29 patrols in this area in the past, and they had not seen this sort of resistance or had an ambush of any sort.
00:01:24
>> The ensuing firefight killed the four Americans, as well as four Nigerians. Although the total number of dead was not confirmed until the body of Sargeant David T Johnson was recovered two days later.>> It's unclear at what point they realized that the fourth US soldier who was killed was missing.
00:01:42
So there's really a lot of unanswered questions about the soldier, about what happened and what the circumstances were that led to this.>> We do know a lot about what happened to him. At some point, when the investigation's complete, conclusions have been reached, I'll be happy to share that information with you.
00:01:55
>> President Trump has taken heat for not publicly speaking about the incident until 12 days later. And for suggesting his initial failure to call the soldier's family was in line with the practices of former President Obama, which Obama's former staff members have denied.