BOGOTA, Colombia — Last August during a meeting in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump pressed aides on the possibility of invading Venezuela.
The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser General H.R. McMaster, who have since left the administration.
This account of the previously undisclosed conversation comes from a senior administration official familiar with what was said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.
Trump then raised the military option twice more with Latin American leaders.
The behind-the-scenes talks, coupled with belligerent comments from Trump, highlight the White House’s focus on forcing Venezuela’s president from power. But critics say it also underscores how his “America First” foreign policy at times borders on being reckless.