Trump denies plot in Venezuela, says would use ‘invasion’

WASHINGTON (AFP): President Donald Trump on Friday said the United States was not behind a failed covert plot in Venezuela allegedly involving two Americans, but that if he did order an attack it would be an open “invasion.”

“If I wanted to go into Venezuela I wouldn’t make a secret about it,” he told Fox News.

“I’d go in and they would do nothing about it. They would roll over. I wouldn’t send a small little group. No, no, no. It would be called an army,” he said. “It would be called an invasion.”

Leftist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government says the apparently botched plot was funded by US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido and that two former US special forces soldiers were among 17 people taken prisoner.

Another eight alleged attackers were killed in a shootout, the government says.

Maduro has said the two Americans have “confessed their guilt.”

Trump called the covert operatives “a rogue group” and said “I don’t know too much about it.”

“It wasn’t led by General George Washington, obviously,” he said mockingly. “This was not a good attack. I think they were caught before they ever hit land.”