- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
WASHINGTON – 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.
So this notepad that National Security Advisor John Bolton was holding today at the White House briefing on Venezuela says:
"Afghanistan -> Welcome the Talks. 5,000 troops to Colombia."
If confirmed this would be a pretty terrible OPSEC breach.https://t.co/KS0Issfvps pic.twitter.com/IOrSprG567
— Rao Komar (@RaoKomar747) January 28, 2019
National Security Genius!
— Jon Fort (@JonFort1) January 28, 2019
This was MEANT to be seen. This was not an accident. He wants Maduro to think the US is serious about him leaving office.
— Scotslad92 (@ProRevScot) January 28, 2019
Could mean nothing. Bolton might just doodle "x troops to y country" daily as a daydreaming exercise.
— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) January 28, 2019
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: John Bolton's notes on '5,000 troops to Colombia' spark speculation about military intervention in Venezuela