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

Top members of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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 ShanahanSenators introducing bill to penalize Pentagon for failed audits Overnight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee Biden Pentagon pick could make up to .7M from leaving Raytheon MORE was joined at the Pentagon by national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Bolton: Trump lacked enough 'advance thinking' for a coup MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Pence v. Biden on China: Competing but consistent visions 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 BartiromoGraham says he'd 'leave town' to stop .5T spending plan The Memo: Trump pours gas on tribalism with Jan. 6 rewrite Trump: Tech giants 'immune from so many different things, but they're not immune from the lawsuit' 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.