Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion

Frederick Owens
July 6, 2018

During an Oval Office meeting in August of 2017, President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Handler issues July 4 apology to world: "We're sorry about our president" United States pork producers prepare for steep tariffs: "I don't want to be the patriot who dies at the end of the war" ACLU membership grew from 400,000 to 1.84 million after Trump was elected: report MORE reportedly asked his senior advisers about invading Venezuela to intervene in ongoing issues in the country, a senior administration official told The Associated Press. This account of the previously undisclosed conversation came from a senior administration official familiar with what was said.

At the end of the talks, Trump shocked aides and senior administration officials by bluntly asking why can't the US just invade the country. The very first thing that President Trump said during the private affair was "my staff told me not to say this", and continued with his controversial line of inquiry, shocking his advisers at the time.

However, then-State Secretary Rex Tillerson, and former-National Security Adviser H.R. MacMaster warned against an invasion, as-well-as attempts to remove the dictator from power.

"We have many options for Venezuela, this is our neighbour", Trump said. The allies present consisted of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, two Colombian diplomats, and the source official.

According to AP, he discussed the issue during a private dinner with the leader of four Latin American countries, including Colombia. He told his aides that he considered previous United States interventions in the region "successful", while particularly mentioning the invasions into Panama and Grenada in the 1980s.

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He then went around the table to ask the leaders whether they were certain they didn't want the U.S. to invade Venezuela, to which each leader said clearly that they were, the AP reported. But critics say it also underscores how his "America First" foreign policy at times borders on being reckless. "We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary".

"Mind your own business and solve your own problems, Mr. Trump!" roared Nicolas Maduro Guerra, who is the son of the Venezuelan leader, speaking before the handpicked constituent assembly.

For his part, trump's advisors tried to explain to the President why military intervention in Venezuela may adversely affect US. The US allies in the region were opposing such drastic measure, and it could have backfired against America had those measures been taken.

The AP said the White House declined to comment. However, a National Security Council spokesman told AP that the USA still considers all options at its disposal to help "restore Venezuela's democracy".

The US leader held crunch meetings in August 2017 to discuss potential sanctions against Venezuela due to the economic and political unravelling of Nicolas Maduro's government.

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