Rep. Stewart says Democratic colleague is politicizing Niger ambush


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Is the death of four service members in Niger President Trump’s Benghazi? A Florida lawmaker says it is, but a member of Utah’s Congressional Delegation is blasting her for that.

Representative Chris Stewart says it’s politics at it’s worst. He says his House colleague is using a Gold Star family as a political prop.

“Nothing has made me quite as angry as this has over the last few days,” said Stewart, (R) Utah.

Stewart is talking about a public clash that erupted following the incident in Niger.

“I think what this congresswoman did, is just frankly, disgusting. The president was very clearly calling this Gold Star family to offer his condolences and sympathy,” said Stewart.

That’s not how Florida Representative Frederica Wilson sees it. She was listening in when President Trump called the widow of one of the four soldiers killed.

“I heard him say, “I’m sure he knew what he was signing up for, but it still hurts.” How insensitive can you be,” said Wilson, (D) Florida.

The president denies saying that, but Wilson has fired up the feud by questioning how members of our military were put in that situation to begin with.

“How were they able to be overrun by terrorists? When they are there to train the army. They didn’t go there to fight. This is Mr. Trump’s Benghazi,” said Wilson.

Stewart, a member of the House Intelligence Committee says there is no evidence to put this on the president.

He questions Wilson’s motive.

“I think we have to just give him credit that he was trying to console the family, and for them to be thrust into this political debate, it’s unfair to them,” said Stewart.

But, the congressman does admit something went terribly wrong.

“We need to look at this and say, what lessons can we learn? How do we preclude this from happening in the future? And once again, we’ve been looking at this in the Intel Committee for the last year, or so and realizing the intelligence we have in that part of Africa isn’t sufficient to protect our soldiers,” Stewart said.

The FBI will also join the investigation into what happened in Niger.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...