WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said that the United States may turn to a “military option if necessary” against Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro is in the midst of a political and economic crisis.
“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Trump told reporters in Bedminster, N.J. on Friday. He has been on a working vacation while the White House undergoes a renovation.
“We don’t talk about it. But a military operation, a military option, is certainly something we could pursue,” he said.
The Trump administration has characterized Maduro as a dictator and announced sanctions against government officials.
Trump’s remarks followed continued warnings toward North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un.
“This man will not get away with what he is doing. If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat … or if he does anything with respect to Guam, or any place else that is an American territory or an America ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast,” Trump said.
He also was asked how Americans should feel about the tensions.
“You know what I can say? Hopefully it’ll all work out,” he said. “Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you. Hopefully it’ll all work out. But this has been going on for many years. It would’ve been a lot easier to solve this years ago before they were in the position they’re in.
“But we will see what happens. We think that lots of good things can happen and we could also could have a bad solution. But we think lots of good things will happen.”
Earlier in the week, Trump had warned that North Korea would face “fire and fury” if it continued to make threats against the United States, an escalation of rhetoric that has alarmed some national security experts who fear that remarks could be misinterpreted.
Trump announced that he will hold a news conference in Washington on Monday.