White House Drafted a Niger Sympathy Statement; Never Released It

The White House’s National Security Council drafted a sympathy statement for President Trump to make after four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month, but the president never issued the statement, Politico reported Wednesday. Trump currently faces criticism for his two-week silence on the ambush and the insensitive comments he allegedly made to a gold-star widow. “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,” the initial, unreleased statement read. “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.” It is unclear why the initial statement never saw the light of day.