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

Top members of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' 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 ShanahanOvernight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale Top nuclear official quietly left Pentagon in April MORE was joined at the Pentagon by national security adviser John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonUS ramping up digital attacks on Russia's power grid: report US ramping up digital attacks on Russia's power grid: report US-Iran tensions rise: Five things to know about oil tanker attack MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS-Iran tensions rise: Five things to know about oil tanker attack US-Iran tensions rise: Five things to know about oil tanker attack The US must do its part in closing the largest outdoor prison in the world 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 hits Fed over high interest rates: 'They don't have a clue!' Trump hits Fed over high interest rates: 'They don't have a clue!' Fox's Bartiromo: Border story should lead evening news 'every night' 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.