Republican Sen. Ben Sasse issued a blunt and dismissive statement Friday night knocking down President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the United States is considering military action against Venezuela.
"No,” said the Nebraska senator. “Congress obviously isn’t authorizing war in Venezuela.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is a “horrible human being,” Sasse added, “but Congress doesn’t vote to spill Nebraskans’ blood based on who the executive lashes out at today."
The rebuke from Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, comes amid deteriorating relations between Trump and Republican senators. The president this week feuded with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.), with the pair trading jabs over who’s to blame for the Senate’s failure to act on Trump’s legislative agenda.
Trump said Friday he would not rule out "a military option" in Venezuela, where Maduro is cracking down on his political opposition amid an economic collapse.
Later Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Maduro had requested a phone call with Trump.
“President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country,” she said. “The United States stands with the people of Venezuela in the face of their continued oppression by the Maduro regime.”