In August of 2017, President Trump surprised many by openly talking about the idea of launching a military attack on Venezuela. The public talk of this didn’t last long, and it has been all but forgotten. But not forgotten by President Trump.
Aides say that since August President Trump has repeatedly pushed aides on the matter, and that a number of different cabinet members have had to take turns trying to talk Trump out of the idea. They have succeeded so far, but Trump hasn’t dropped the idea.
Of course, there is no Congressional authorization, or anything resembling it, on the books authorizing a US invasion of Venezuela. This did not appear to faze Trump, however, and he argued to his cabinet that Venezuela was a threat to regional security, so he should just invade and be done with it.
This shocked members of his cabinet, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. They were both opposed to the idea, but it’s less clear if their successors, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, would have a problem with this sort of unprovoked US attack.