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Senator Graham Says Trump Discussed with Him Using Military Force in Venezuela

© AFP 2021 / DANIEL MIHAILESCUUS Army serviceman jumps from armored vehicle during the NATO "Wind Spring 15" military exercise at Smardan military shooting range on April 21, 2015
US Army serviceman jumps from armored vehicle during the NATO Wind Spring 15 military exercise at Smardan military shooting range on April 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of Republican Party, claimed that US President Donald Trump had discussed with him the possibility to use military force in Venezuela already a couple of weeks ago.

Venezuela is currently going through a political crisis, and the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, has repeatedly accused Washington of orchestrating a state coup in Venezuela.

"He [Trump] said, 'What do you think about using military force?' and I said, 'Well, you need to go slow on that, that could be problematic.' And he said, 'Well, I'm surprised, you want to invade everybody,'" Graham told US news website Axios about his conversation with Trump that had happened a couple of weeks ago.

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Graham added that he believed that military force had to be used only when US national security interests were jeopardized.

He also told Axios that Trump was "really hawkish" on Venezuela.

Axios added, citing senior officials from Trump's administration, that there were no signs that Washington really planned to invade Venezuela, since Trump only wanted to accelerate regime change in the Latin American country for economic and diplomatic reasons.

Last Wednesday, the conflict between the government and the opposition in Venezuela escalated as head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, declared himself the country's interim president in a move that had been recognized by the United States, Canada, and a number of other countries.

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Maduro accused Washington of orchestrating a coup in the Latin American country and said that Caracas was severing diplomatic ties with Washington.

The US-Venezuelan relations have long been tense, with Trump saying back in August 2017 at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey that he did not rule out a "military option" to put end to chaos in Venezuela.

Russia said that it recognized only Maduro as the legitimately elected president of Venezuela and also voiced readiness to mediate dialogue between the government and the opposition.

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