GOP senator: Congress 'obviously' not authorizing war in Venezuela

Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseSinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Democrats outraged after Manchin opposes Biden spending bill Senate confirms Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan MORE (R-Neb.) fired back at President Trump on Friday, saying Congress “obviously isn’t authorizing war in Venezuela” after Trump said he wouldn’t rule out using a military option in the country.

“No, Congress obviously isn’t authorizing war in Venezuela,” Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said in a statement. “Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn’t vote to spill Nebraskans’ blood based on who the Executive lashes out at today.”

In remarks to reporters at his New Jersey golf club Friday, Trump said he wouldn’t rule out a “possible military option” in Venezuela.


“Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering and they’re dying,” he continued. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

Trump declined to say whether American troops would lead a possible military effort in Venezuela, saying: “We don’t talk about it.”

“But a military operation, a military option is certainly something that we could pursue,” he said.

The Pentagon cooled the intensity of speculation caused by Trump’s statement Friday night, saying they had not received any new orders regarding Venezuela. Allegations by the Venezuelan president that the U.S. is planning an invasion in the country are “baseless,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Venezuela has seen civil unrest in recent weeks after the results of an election to rewrite the country’s constitution. The Trump administration slapped new sanctions on President Nicolas Maduro and his associates following the election.

The State Department also ordered the families of U.S. diplomats to leave Venezuela last month because of  “social unrest, violent crime, and pervasive food and medicine shortages.”