Obama’s Defense Secretary Just Slammed Trump’s Military Threat to Venezuela

On the same day that President Donald Trump continued to ramp up a crisis with North Korea with his fiery rhetoric, he also refused to rule out military intervention in Venezuela, where there is currently prolonged civil unrest.

Similar to his remarks about North Korea, the president appears to have blindsided his administration. The Pentagon confirmed that it had not received any orders regarding Venezuela on Friday evening.

Leon Panetta, who served as CIA director and Secretary of Defense under President Obama, explained why Trump’s off-the-cuff threats of military action around the world is dangerous.

“This is a president who comes out of the development industry in New York City, he comes out of reality TV, I think he kind of prides himself that talking is kind of his business…This is not reality TV. This is a situation where you can’t just talk down to everybody in the world and expect that somehow you can bully them to do what you think is right,” Panetta told CNN after Trump’s press conference.

Panetta said that Trump should think before he speaks because leaders “take the president of the United States literally. Words count.”

From his golf club in Bedminster, NJ, Trump had refused to rule out military action in Venezuela, and alluded to the fact that such a strategy was in fact on the table.

“We have many options for Venezuela. And by the way, I am not going to rule out a military option,” Trump said. “We have many options for Venezuela. This is our neighbor,” Trump said Friday. “You know, we are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

Panetta’s response?

“When we are facing the kind of crisis we are facing now, this is not a time for loose talk,” he said to CNN.