Trump asked advisers about invading Venezuela

Last August, President Donald Trump asked several top foreign policy advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela during a meeting about diplomatic sanctions the US was enacting on the autocratic government, a senior administration official familiar with the comments said.

Posted: Jul 6, 2018 5:43 AM
Updated: Jul 6, 2018 5:54 AM

President Donald Trump last August asked several top foreign policy advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela during a meeting about diplomatic sanctions the US was enacting on the autocratic government, a senior administration official familiar with the comments said.

Trump's aides, including then-national security adviser HR McMaster, vigorously urged him against the notion of a military invasion of Venezuela, warning him it could backfire and explaining that US allies in the region were firmly opposed to such drastic action. Taking military action against Venezuela would be a dramatic escalation of the US's so-far solely diplomatic and sanctions-focused response to the political and economic crisis roiling the South American country.

Still, the official with knowledge of Trump's private comments noted there was "no imminent plan for a military strike" and chalked the comments up to Trump thinking "out loud."

"The President says and thinks a lot of different things," the official said. "He just thinks out loud."

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro reacted to Trump's comments on Wednesday, urging the country's armed forces not to "lower their guard."

"We need to defend our right for peace, dignity and for the right to chose our own destiny," Maduro said during a military ceremony in Caracas. "No empire is going to choose for us!"

"A military invasion from the US empire will never be a solution for Venezuela's problems, never," he added. "The greatest right our people have is the right to live in peace."

Trump's private comments to his advisers were first reported by the Associated Press. They came a day before he said publicly -- standing alongside then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley -- that he was not taking "a military option" against Venezuela off the table.

Trump in the following month continued to press Latin American leaders about the possibility, including on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly when he dined with many of those leaders -- all of whom said they did not want a US invasion of Venezuela.

Venezuela has been a key focus of the Trump administration's policy toward Latin America, with Trump taking numerous steps to ratchet up pressure on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The administration has enacted numerous sanctions and issued strongly worded statements urging the Venezuelan government to allow free and fair elections to take place.

Vice President Mike Pence has also met numerous times with Venezuelan opposition leaders and has issued stinging criticisms of the Venezuelan government during his recent trips to Latin America.

Trump's comments were not the first time he has raised the possibility of military action against another country. Before the cooling of tensions with North Korea in recent months, Trump deliberated with aides about the possibility of preventive strikes against the Pyongyang regime and in January sought to order the evacuation of US military dependents in South Korea -- sounding alarms among the President's top national security aides who worried North Korea might interpret the move as wartime preparations.

Just as with his discussions of military action in Venezuela, Trump's aides dissuaded him from taking such brash action.

West Lafayette
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 78°
Crawfordsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Frankfort
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Delphi
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Monticello
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Logansport
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 79°
Warm Weekend Continues Sunday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events