Washington, Aug 12 (IANS) The US President Donald Trump said on Friday he would not rule out a “military option” in Venezuela.

“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Xinhua quoted Trump as saying.

Meanwhile, the president did not directly answer a question about whether the US troops would lead the potential operation.

“We don’t talk about it,” said Trump after his meeting with State Secretary Rex Tillerson and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at the golf club.

The Pentagon said after Trump’s words that it had not received any order on Venezuela from the White House.

Trump’s remarks came amid escalating tensions between Washington and Caracas over Venezuela’s controversial National Constituent Assembly (ANC) which was formed after an election late last month.

The US has slapped a string of sanctions on Venezuelan individuals involved in the creation of the ANC, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro later rebuffed U.S. sanctions that targeted him personally, saying he was “proud” to be singled out by the measure.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.