Bolton, Shanahan, Pompeo meet at Pentagon to discuss military options in Venezuela

Top members of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE’s national security team met at the Pentagon on Friday morning to discuss military options for the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, a senior administration official said.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE was joined at the Pentagon by national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump job approval slips 2 points in Gallup poll Washington indecision compounded the Kurds' dilemma US Ambassador Sondland says Trump directed officials to work with Giuliani on Ukraine MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoEx-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump Pompeo rejects idea that the United States abandoned Kurds Mike Pompeo's Faustian bargain MORE, according to the official.

National security officials also met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the issue.

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“This is an issue of freedom vs. tyranny. Echoing @POTUS, we’re considering all options in support of the Venezuelan people,” Shanahan, who canceled a trip to Europe this week to focus on Venezuela, tweeted after the Wednesday meeting.

A Pentagon spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s meeting, while a State Department spokesman referred The Hill to Pompeo’s public schedule, which did not list the meeting.

Earlier this week, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, whom the United States recognizes as interim president, took to the streets calling for Venezuelan military support to oust President Nicolás Maduro.

Trump administration officials hoped it would be the turning point that toppled Maduro, which has become one of the administration’s key foreign policy goals.

But Guaidó’s gambit appears to have fizzled out after he failed to gain support from senior leaders of the Venezuelan military.

Trump administration officials have repeatedly said “all options” are on the table when asked about U.S. military involvement in the crisis.

“Military action is possible,” Pompeo told Fox Business Network’s Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoTrump says Fox News 'doesn't deliver for US anymore' after poll shows rising impeachment support Graham vows to publicly question whistleblowers if Trump is impeached Giuliani can't say 100 percent Trump didn't threaten Ukraine aid MORE on Wednesday. “If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said Wednesday the military’s focus at that moment was gathering intelligence on an “unclear” situation.

“The situation is a little bit unclear today from our perspective between Maduro and Guaidó,” Dunford said during a House hearing

“We’re doing what we can now to collect intelligence and make sure we have good visibility on what’s happening down in Venezuela and also be prepared to support the president should he require more from the U.S. military," Dunford added.