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John Bolton’s notes on ‘5,000 troops to Colombia’ spark speculation about military intervention in Venezuela

Then-Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton in Russia on October 22, 2018, for meetings. (Kremlin/Released)

National Security Adviser John Bolton set the Twittersphere alight on Monday after he appeared at a White House briefing holding a yellow legal pad with two scribbled lines in full view of reporters on Monday.

“5,000 troops to Colombia,” read one line on Bolton’s notepad, raising questions about whether the Trump administration is about to dispatch armed forces to that South American country.

The blue-ink jots came as Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a new round of sanctions on Venezuela, where the Trump administration is trying to oust embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

President Donald Trump has recognized Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president. Trump said that “all options are on the table” when asked last week if the U.S. was prepared to intervene militarily.

A White House spokesman did nothing to quash the speculation about possible U.S. troop deployments to Colombia. Asked if Bolton’s note meant the U.S. was planning to send troops to Venezuela’s neighbor, a White House spokesman simply reiterated Trump’s “all options are on the table” declaration.

A spokeswoman for the Colombian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Twitter, meanwhile, Bolton’s notes drew a combination of alarm and derision on Monday.


© 2019 USA Today

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