The Latest: Aide says Trump is owed options on Venezuela


Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Latin American (all times local):

10:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser is defending the president’s statement that he’s not ruling out a “military option” to resolve the political crisis in Venezuela.

Anti-government demonstrators holds a poster that reads in Spanish

Anti-government demonstrators holds a poster that reads in Spanish

Anti-government demonstrators holds a poster that reads in Spanish “The jails won’t shut the truth” and the image of opposition leader arrested Antonio Ledezma during a protest against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Opposition members called a demonstration to protest the seating of a special assembly to rewrite the constitution. Observers will be closely watching the turnout as the arrest of several mayors and the opposition’s decision to compete in regional elections despite concerns the election for the constitutional assembly was marred by fraud. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

H.R. McMaster says Trump has asked his team to consider what might happen next in Venezuela.

McMaster says officials “want to not only be able to cope with the current situation, but understand better how this crisis might evolve.”

He says the U.S. wants to protect the Venezuelan people and “prevent an even greater humanitarian catastrophe.”

McMaster tells ABC’s “This Week” that Trump “never takes options off the table in any of these situations and what we owe him are options.”

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7:45 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to visit Latin America at a time of unrest in Venezuela.

Pence plans to meet with Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, later Sunday at the start of a weeklong trip likely to be dominated by conversations about the crisis in Venezuela.

Colombia’s Foreign Ministry has rejected President Donald Trump’s statement that he wouldn’t rule out a “military option” in response to the Venezuelan government’s attempt to consolidate power.

The Colombian statement said efforts to resolve Venezuela’s breakdown in democracy should be peaceful and respect its sovereignty.

Pence’s schedule also includes stops in Argentina, Chile and Panama.

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