Once Congress is officially notified of the sale, lawmakers who want to derail it have 30 days to pass veto-proof legislation. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, also said he backs the sale.
“We’ve really got to try to do what we can to contain them,” McCain said of Boko Haram.
A Feb. 15 White House statement summarizing Trump’s first phone call with Buhari said the president “expressed support for the sale of aircraft from the United States to support Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.”
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in mid-February he was weary of the sale because of the Nigerian military’s impunity. Cardin, however, said this week he’s not trying to block the deal.
“Ultimately we hope that the sale goes forward,” he said. “But there is progress that needs to be made in protecting the civilian population”