Before dawn on Wednesday, the feds raided the home of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Trump, as intelligence expert Malcolm Nance says, is getting buggy. The investigation is getting closer and closer to him, and his poll numbers are in a free-fall, so from the safety of 17 day golf vacation in New Jersey, Trump is threatening war against not one, not two, but three countries.
Most of the media has been covering his exchange of provocative nuclear threats with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un. If that’s not terrifying enough, Trump also hinted that he’s planning to attack Iran because, well, they may or may not be abiding by the nuclear deal. All indications are that they are, but that doesn’t stop a commander-in-chief who desperately, so desperately, needs a way to wag the dog.
On Friday, Trump announced that there might be a third war on the table. This one against Venezuela.
“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club on Friday.
The president did not answer a question about whether American troops would lead a potential operation.
“We don’t talk about it. But a military operation, a military option, is certainly something we could pursue,” he responded.
To be fair, Venezuela isn’t exactly our friend. Two years ago, President Obama issued sanctions against the oil-rich country, in part over its human rights abuses.
The White House said the order targeted people whose actions undermined democratic processes or institutions, had committed acts of violence or abuse of human rights, were involved in prohibiting or penalizing freedom of expression, or were government officials involved in public corruption.
“Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.
“We are deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government’s efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents,” he added.
Trump, whose only political tactic is to try to intimidate his political opponents, also complained about the human rights abuses, despite having no problems with the human rights abuses of Saudi Arabia, Russia and the Philippines.
One fact, and only one fact, might indicate that Trump is just bluster. Trump’s cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin might actually be keeping us safer, at least as far as the idea of Trump waging war against Venezuela or North Korea. Venezuela is a strong trading partner of Russia. Putin also backs North Korea, as does our largest trading partner, China.
This whole show could be just Trump trying to boost his poll numbers, or it could be his way of pretending to create distance between him and Putin, but regardless, the talk is reckless and potentially deadly. The people he’s threatening don’t see his talk as political posturing. They are taking it very seriously and even if Trump doesn’t pull the trigger first, they certainly could.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images