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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at, Justin Blum

For more articles like this, please visit us at

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Trump Says U.S. Will Review Universities
Trump Says U.S. Will Review Universities' Tax-Exempt Status

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump ordered the Treasury Department on Friday to review the tax-exempt status of colleges and universities, following his threats to cut federal funding to schools that do not reopen due to the coronavirus pandemic.The president's attack on institutions of higher education

Supreme Court deals Trump a defeat, upholds demand for his tax returns
Supreme Court deals Trump a defeat, upholds demand for his tax returns

President Trump claimed he had immunity from subpoenas requiring his accountants to turn over his financial records to Congress and a grand jury.

Some Republicans Have Grown Wary of Protests, Poll Shows
Some Republicans Have Grown Wary of Protests, Poll Shows

Most Americans continue to support the nationwide protests against racial injustice, but with President Donald Trump issuing an ever-more-combative barrage of attacks, new polling shows that some Republicans have grown wary of demonstrators' demands and retreated toward saying that racism is not in fact a big problem in the United States.At the start of June, many polls showed the emergence of a rare consensus around calls for racial justice and changes to policing, with a majority of Republicans joining other Americans in saying that racial discrimination is a big issue for the country.But a Monmouth University survey released Wednesday found that at the end of last month, just 40% of...

Brooks Brothers Goes Bankrupt With Formal Attire Losing Favor
Brooks Brothers Goes Bankrupt With Formal Attire Losing Favor

(Bloomberg) -- Brooks Brothers Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy, felled by the pandemic's impact on clothing sales and its own heavy debt load.The two-century-old apparel company is the latest to succumb as lockdowns during the coronavirus outbreak add to the woes of old-line retailers. Neiman Marcus

In win for Trump, Supreme Court allows plan for religious limits to Obamacare contraceptive coverage
In win for Trump, Supreme Court allows plan for religious limits to Obamacare contraceptive coverage

The ruling is a victory for the Trump administration's plan to expand who can cite religious or moral objections in declining to include contraceptives in health care plans.

Leave a Comment

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

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America