President Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with his team’s aggressive approach toward Venezuela, following a failed U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, The Washington Post reports. He complained that he was misinformed about how easy it would be to overthrow Maduro, White House officials say.
Much of his frustrations have materialized in his relationship with national security adviser John Bolton, who advocates for strong intervention, a stark contrast with Trump’s more isolationist desires. In recent days, Trump has commented that Bolton wants the U.S. to get “into a war,” a comment he has made lightheartedly in the past but is now of more serious consideration, according to one senior administration official.
The White House’s stance remains the same officially following the U.S.-backed opposition’s attempts to overthrow Maduro last week. But officials are reportedly moving more cautiously around using language and military actions that suggest that Maduro’s leadership will be short, and one official described a shift in approach to the “long haul.”
Three senior officials told the newspaper that Trump has complained about Bolton and other officials’ failure to properly assess Maduro and the situation and Venezuela. The president called Maduro a “tough cookie,” and the Venezuelan president said that the U.S.-backed coup was “foolish.”