Trump might intervene militarily in Venezuela because of expats who golf at his Florida club, Mike Pence

Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, and President Trump in Florida
(Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

If it sounds increasingly like President Trump is headed toward U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, that seems to be the option his top advisers are pushing. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Sunday that "we're gonna do the things that need to be done" to get President Nicolas Maduro out, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been suggestively posting before/after photos of various authoritarian leaders on Twitter, including Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi right before a mob executed him, after Western military intervention. But the driving force behind Trump's hawkish Venezuela turn, Jonathan Swan reports at Axios, is Vice President Mike Pence, who isn't the "impotent toady" many assume him to be.

Trump has been driven by "instincts, personal relationships, aggressive advisers, and political opportunism" in his Venezuela policy, Swan says. The pivot reportedly started when Pence brought the wife of a Venezuelan political prisoner into the Oval Office with Rubio, and Trump was so "taken by their conversation," he told an aide to snap a photo on his iPhone, told Rubio to read and edit his caption, then tweeted out America's new Venezuela policy.

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