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

Top members of President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida 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 ShanahanHouse Armed Services chairman expresses confidence in Esper amid aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis Boeing pleads for bailout under weight of coronavirus, 737 fallout Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January MORE was joined at the Pentagon by national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonJohn Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report Bolton: North Korea 'more dangerous now' Demand for Trump-related titles sparks expected record year for political books MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Brazil's OECD candidacy is best chance for reform Watch live: Pompeo news conference 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 BartiromoMeadows criticizes veteran journalist Lesley Stahl as an 'opinion journalist' Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox Hillicon Valley: DOJ accuses Russian hackers of targeting 2018 Olympics, French elections | Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats | House Democrats slam FCC over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump 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.