Trump Says Putin Not 'Involved' in Venezuela, Despite U.S. Claim





(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump said that Russian President Vladimir Putin isn't seeking to "get involved" in the crisis in Venezuela, despite assertions by the American president's top national security advisers that the Kremlin is offering critical support to Nicolas Maduro's regime.

"He is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he'd like to see something positive happen for Venezuela," Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, following a call with the Russian leader earlier in the day. "And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid -- right now people are starving, they have no water, they have no food."

The conversation, which Trump went on to describe as "very positive," appeared to be yet another example of Trump taking Putin's claims at face value despite contrary evidence from his own government. The White House national security adviser, John Bolton, and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo both said earlier this week that the Kremlin talked Maduro out of leaving Venezuela after U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido attempted to end his regime on Tuesday by calling for a military uprising.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later on Friday that Trump simply was "relaying what President Putin said to him. That's it."

The Kremlin has denied that the Russian government persuaded Maduro to stay in Caracas.

Bolton said the U.S. was considering action in response against Russia and Cuba, another Maduro ally, that may include new economic sanctions. In March, Bolton warned nations "external to the Western hemisphere" to stay out of Venezuela after Russia landed at least two planeloads of troops in Caracas.

Russia's state-run oil giant Rosneft PJSC has drawn criticism from the U.S. for giving financial support to Maduro. Pompeo said in March that the company "continues to throw a lifeline to the regime" by supplying Venezuela's state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA with a petroleum product it needs to keep exports flowing in defiance of U.S. sanctions. Rosneft, which is also subject to U.S. sanctions, denied the allegations.

Trump has repeatedly indicated he also believes Putin's denials that his government was involved in a Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election. Trump joined the Russian leader at a news conference in Helsinki last summer in publicly challenging the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that the Kremlin directed the interference campaign, drawing condemnation from American lawmakers in both parties.

Trump called a reporter "very rude" after she asked if he had warned Putin not to meddle in the 2020 elections during their call.

"We didn't discuss that," he added. "Getting along with countries is a good thing and we want to have good relations with everybody."

(Updates with Pompeo allegations on Rosneft in seventh paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

PG&E Craters on Risk of Up to $18 Billion in Fire-Lawsuit Costs
PG&E Craters on Risk of Up to $18 Billion in Fire-Lawsuit Costs

(Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. shares plunged after a judge ruled that a jury can determine whether it should pay as much as $18 billion in damages to wildfire victims.The California utility giant fell as much 30% to $10.05 in New York on Monday, the biggest intraday decline since the company signaled plans

Coal-Loving Australia Is World
Coal-Loving Australia Is World's 3rd Biggest Emissions Exporter

(Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.Australia's booming coal industry has made it the world's third-biggest exporter of potential carbon dioxide emissions locked in fossil fuels, placing it only behind oil giants Russia and Saudi Arabia.Australia

Trump wields sanctions hammer; experts wonder to what end
Trump wields sanctions hammer; experts wonder to what end

The Trump administration is aggressively pursuing economic sanctions as a primary foreign policy tool to an extent unseen in decades, or perhaps ever. Since taking office in January 2017, President Donald Trump has used an array of new and existing sanctions against Iran, North Korea and others. The

Shell workers in Pennsylvania say they were told to either attend a recent Trump event, or not get paid
Shell workers in Pennsylvania say they were told to either attend a recent Trump event, or not get paid

Workers at a new Shell plant in Pennsylvania were told they had to attend a speech by President Donald Trump in order to get paid.

Donald Trump is touting voter ID laws as an issue in the 2020 election. Here
Donald Trump is touting voter ID laws as an issue in the 2020 election. Here's why.

As Donald Trump ramps up his reelection for 2020 he is resurfacing a controversial gripe held over from 2016: That voter fraud cost him support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.