President Donald Trump was trigger happy last August when, during an Oval Office meeting, he stunned his own aides by asking why the United States doesn’t just invade Venezuela.
Trump was speaking about increased sanctions against the country with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, among other members of his staff.
According to the Associated Press, Trump’s advisers had to explain that an invasion would alienate Latin American governments who have been working to punish Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.
The conversation lasted five minutes and included several comments by Trump about the success of the Panama and Grenada invasions in the 1980s.
Despite pushback from his own administration, Trump announced the next day that an invasion was on the table.
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) August 11, 2017
Congress was having none of Trump’s shenanigans and said an escalation in the area would be “an act of craziness.
Despite pushback from his own administration, Trump continued the conversation with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
In September, Trump again talked to Santos about a possible invasion during a dinner with world leaders following the U.N. General Assembly. During that dinner meeting, The Guardian notes that Trump stepped outside of his own counsel’s advice.
“My staff told me not to say this,” Trump said. He then asked each Latin American leader at the table if they were against an invasion and they all said it would be a bad move. Trump pushed back on the leaders but was again told they didn’t’ approve of the invasion suggestion.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.