Trump: Military intervention in Venezuela an 'option'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE in an interview broadcast Sunday said U.S. military intervention in crisis-torn Venezuela is an “option.”

“Well I don't want to say that,” he told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked about military intervention and any national security interest.

“But certainly it's something that's on the — it's an option,” he added.

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The president also said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro requested a meeting “a number of months ago” and Trump turned it down.

“I decided at the time, ‘no’ because so many really horrible things have been happening in Venezuela when you look at that country," he said.

"That was the wealthiest country of all in that part of the world which is a very important part of the world. And now you look at the poverty and you look at the anguish and you look at the crime and you look at all of the things happening," he added.

"So, I think the process is playing out — very, very big tremendous protests.”

Last month, a handful of countries, led by the United States, recognized Juan Guaidó, the president of Venezuela's National Assembly, as the nation's interim president.

In response, Maduro, whose election the U.S. has declared illegitimate, announced that he was cutting off diplomatic relations with the United States and ordered American diplomats in the country to leave within 72 hours. He also ordered Venezuelan diplomats out of the U.S.

Venezuela’s foreign ministry later issued a statement suspending those expulsions and offering to negotiate a “U.S. interests office” in Venezuela similar to one that existed for decades in Cuba.

Supporters of Maduro and Guaidó demonstrated Saturday in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in the latest round of protests.