President Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Friday that the U.S. is not anticipating any military action in Venezuela “in the near future” despite Trump saying earlier this month he wouldn’t rule it out.
“In terms of military options or other options, there is no such thing anymore as only a military option or a diplomatic option or an economic option,” McMaster said during a White House press briefing. “We try to integrate all elements together.”
“We always look at a broad range of contingencies and how this might evolve in the future, but obviously any decision would be in conjunction with our partners in the region,” McMaster continued. “And no military actions are anticipated in the near future."
Speaking at his New Jersey golf club last month, Trump said he wouldn’t rule out U.S. military action in Venezuela.
“Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering and they’re dying,” he said. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”
The Trump administration has slapped multiple rounds of sanctions on Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro and other Venezuelan officials in recent months after the legitimacy of the country’s July election was questioned. A new round of economic sanctions were levied against Maduro on Friday.
The Defense Department said earlier this month that Trump had not yet asked for plans regarding the use of U.S. military action in Venezuela.
“Our job is to provide options to the president, so if called upon we would have a military option for the president. That has not occurred yet, so the short answer is, we have a range of options,” Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning said at the time.