News ID: 198496
Published: 0317 GMT August 12, 2017

GOP senator takes shot at Trump for threatening Venezuela with war

GOP senator takes shot at Trump for threatening Venezuela with war

A US Republican senator says Congress would “obviously” not authorize war against Venezuela after President Donald Trump threatened the crisis-hit South American country with a military action.

Senator Ben Sasse criticized Trump on Friday night for the president’s remarks made earlier in the day in New Jersey. Trump told reporters that he would not rule out a “possible military option” in Venezuela, which has long grappled with political and economic crisis.

"No. Congress obviously isn't authorizing war in Venezuela," Sasse said in a statement.

The senator from the US state of Nebraska, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “Congress doesn't vote to spill Nebraskans' blood based on who the executive lashes out at today."

Trump, who has already promised to “continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela,” said in his recent remarks that Washington has “many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

He formerly accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of being a “dictator,” for holding national elections to select the members of a Constituent Assembly, with power to rewrite the national constitution.

He, however, did not clarify if US troops would lead a possible military effort in the South American country, saying: “We don’t talk about it.”

“But a military operation, a military option is certainly something that we could pursue,” he threatened.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, issued a statement saying they had not received any new orders regarding Venezuela.

"The Pentagon has received no orders," said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon.

Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino branded Trump's threat as "a crazy act," on Friday.

The country has been the scene of deadly protests against Maduro’s government for the last four months. More than 120 people have been killed and thousands arrested so far.

Washington blames Maduro for the violence and has urged regional and international governments to take strong action against his government. Maduro, however, says the US and its allies in the region are inciting the violence to bring down his government.



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