U.S. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper revealed Friday that he participated in the private meeting held by Presidents Donald Trump and Juan Guaidó on February 5th in the Oval Office of the White House.
“We fully support President Guaidó and the opposition and the needs of the Venezuelan people, we want to support the needs and the legitimate leaders of Venezuela,” Esper said at a joint press conference with his Colombian counterpart, Carlos Holmes Trujillo.
The meeting between Guaidó and Trump was held behind closed doors and was attended by State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, National Security Advisor to Vice President Mike Pence Keith Kellogg, and Security Advisor Mauricio Claver-Carone.
The meeting, the first between the two leaders, came a day after Trump invited Guaidó to his State of the Union address to Congress and honored him as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
Prior to the meeting, the White House issued a statement explaining that “the visit is an opportunity to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the people of Venezuela and to discuss how to work with President Guaidó to accelerate a democratic transition.”