U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday again said the U.S. government was not behind a bungled incursion into Venezuela allegedly to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, saying in a Fox News interview he would not rely on a small group for such an operation.
"I know nothing about it. I think the government has nothing to do with it at all and I have to find out what happened," Trump said. "If we ever did anything with Venezuela, it wouldn't be that way. It would be slightly different. It would be called an invasion."
Trump told Fox News that if he wanted to go into Venezuela he "wouldn't make a secret about it."
"I'd go in and they would do nothing about it. They would rollover. I wouldn't send a small little group. No, no, no. It would be called an army," he said.
Members of Venezuela's opposition in October negotiated a $213 million (TL 1.6 billion) deal with a small Florida security company to invade the country and overthrow Maduro, according to a document published by The Washington Post on Thursday.
Venezuelan authorities this week arrested more than a dozen people, including Americans who work for the company Silvercorp USA, as part of a bungled incursion that has served as a public relations victory for Maduro's struggling government.
The document deals a blow to the credibility of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has vehemently denied any links to Silvercorp or involvement in the attempt to remove Maduro by force.
The plan described in the 42-page document offers minute tactical details ranging from which land mines to deploy and what riot gear to use but offers no explanation of how a small group of commandos could overpower hundreds of thousands of security forces who remain loyal to the ruling Socialist Party.
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, referring to the first U.S. president, often considered a military genius.