Foreign Affairs chairman: US military intervention in Venezuela 'not an option'

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Army says it isn't investigating Vindman | White House outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike | Service member dies in Africa Trump administration outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike Pompeo to testify on Iran in February MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday ruled out U.S. military intervention in Venezuela.

“I do worry about the president’s saber rattling, his hints that U.S. military intervention remains an option. I want to make clear to our witnesses and to anyone else watching: U.S. military intervention is not an option,” Engel said in his opening statement at a hearing on the political situation in Venezuela.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rep. Bill KeatingWilliam (Bill) Richard KeatingLawmakers spar over surveillance flight treaty with Russia Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (D-Mass.) asked Elliot Abrams, the United States' special representative for Venezuela, about whether other countries have discussed using military force in the country. Abrams said that he could not think of any.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE has repeatedly floated using U.S. forces to push out Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Earlier this month, he said U.S. military intervention in the country is an “option.”

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineTrump's intel moves spark Democratic fury Trump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Hillicon Valley: US hits Huawei with new charges | Judge orders Pentagon to halt 'war cloud' work amid Amazon challenge | IRS removes guidance on Fortnite game currency MORE (D-R.I.) urged Abrams to tell the administration to make it clear that military intervention is off of the table.

The increase in pressure on Venezuela and threats of intervention come after National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president last month. The U.S. immediately recognized him as the legitimate president of the country. Canada, the Organization of American States, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia all followed suit.

Guaidó gave an interview with AFP earlier this month in which he refused to rule out allowing U.S. forces to help push Maduro out of power.

Guaidó told AFP that he would do “everything that is necessary ... to save human lives” while acknowledging that U.S. intervention is “a very controversial subject," the outlet reported.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP chairman after Africa trip: US military drawdown would have 'real and lasting negative consequences' Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Architect of controversial EPA policies to return as chief of staff: report MORE (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that the military may have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia places weapons there.

Engel made it clear, however, that the Democratic-controlled House would not support such a move.