According to president Trump, all options are open in Venezuela, including a military one.
Pool exited the Oval Office at 11:36, after 20 minutes.
Trump made a veiled threat of military force in Venezuela. “Other than military you can’t get any more pressure than they have…. All options are open.”
No comments on Mueller report. There were lots of questions shouted on that and other topics. Trump stuck to Venezuela, and with prompting from Joe Johns, Obamacare, with a detour to Israel and the Golan Heights.
Trump noted that Rosales, the interim first lady of Venezuela, will meet with first lady Melania Trump in Florida tomorrow.
Q on US commitment in Venezuela
Trump: “You look at what we are doing you will see a commitment that few people have made and frankly this didn’t have to happen in Venezuela. Past administrations, right here, should have been more forward thinking. This should never have happened in Venezuela. This is a tragedy…. Past administrations allowed this to happen. I’ve inherited a mess, between North Korea and all of the problems we have all over the world – the entire Middle East, and Venezuela – these are things that never should have happened…. But I’ll fix it…. Just like in a different sense we’re going to fix health care.”
Trump: “They’re having a lot of hard times over there right now, but the Golan Heights, which every president promised they’d do, they never did. I did that… It was good timing. They desperately need it – they need the [Golan] Heights.”
At one point the president turned to a woman seated on the couch opposite Pence. Romy Marrero is the wife of Roberto Marrero, chief of staff to opposition leader/interim president Juan Guaidó.
Marrero: “He was at home last week.” Thugs entered at 2am. “They destroyed our house, our child’s room. Everything. They planted guns and things [cash]. This happened for three hours. It was a nightmare, and after that they kidnapped him. We didn’t know anything about him for six days…. We had no lights so the electricity was not working.” She noted that her husband works with and is “a personal friend of Juan Guaidó. So this is a personal attack…. They were working together in the National Assembly. …We are afraid for his life. We have no communication. We have a 7-year-old kid who doesn’t know anything.”
Trump responded: “We are with Venezuela. We are with your husband and we are with the people he represents, which is a big big majority of the country. What’s happening there should not happen… We are with you 100 percent. … It’ll all work out. It always does. We’re going to get it to work out.”
Q: Are you thinking of ramping up pressure on the Maduro regime?
“They’ve got a lot of pressure right now. They have no money, they have no oil, they have no nothing. They’ve got plenty of pressure right now. They have no electricity. Other than military you can’t get any more pressure than they have… All options are open.”
Q Boots on the ground?
A. “All options are open.”
Q Regarding Russia has your view that they need to get out of Venezuela been conveyed to Russia
A. “They know. They know very well.”