Members of President Donald Trump’s national security team and military officials met Friday morning at the Pentagon to discuss the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood met in the “tank,” a secure meeting space inside the Pentagon reserved for senior leaders to discuss sensitive issues and military operations.
Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon Friday that the meeting was held in part to provide the attendees a briefing from Adm. Craig Faller, the head of US Southern Command, which oversees US military operations in South America.
“This was really a true review and then making sure that we’re all in alignment,” Shanahan said, adding “we have a comprehensive set of options tailored to certain conditions and I’m just going to maybe leave it at that.”
Asked if those options could include direct military action, Shanahan responded: “I’ll leave that to your imagination. We have all options are on the table.”
When asked specifically about whether the US would deploy warships and possibly even an aircraft carrier to the region as part of its response, a move seemingly endorsed by Sen. Lindsey Graham in a tweet on Friday, Shanahan would not get into specifics but said, “All options are comprehensive but there is a lot of water nearby.”