Donald Trump casually questioned some of his top aides during a meeting in the Oval Office why the U.S. couldn’t merely invade an oil-rich South American country who’s in the midst of political and economic turmoil.
A report from the Associated Press cites a senior administration official who told the agency that Trump’s off-the-cuff question “stunned” everyone at the meeting, including his then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-National Security adviser H.R. McMaster.
In an exchange that lasted around five minutes, McMaster and others took turns explaining to Trump how military action could backfire and risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments to punish President Nicolas Maduro for taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship, according to the official.
The report says that Trump “pushed back,” referencing other U.S. invasions in the region that he deemed successful. The day after, he “alarmed friends and foes alike with talk of a ‘military option to remove Maduro from power’,” and even brought the subject up during a private meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
He mentioned the idea again during a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in September in a room filled with leaders from other Latin American countries before McMaster cautioned him about the negative consequences of invading other countries.
It’s clear that Trump’s itching to use military force against a smaller country, so he’ll have a “war story” to laugh about with his good friends, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un at their next photo-op “summit.” And with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation slowly closing in around him, many wouldn’t put starting an unjustified war past this desperate president.
What’s more incredible is that to this day, there are still those who believe that there is “no difference” between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Let’s just hope it won’t take thousands of Americans dying on foreign soil for them to realize the fault in their logic.
Featured image via screen capture