May 9, 2020 / 2:45 AM / 21 days ago

U.S. denies acting against Venezuela's Maduro, says would have been 'overt'

FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a virtual news conference in Caracas, Venezuela May 6, 2020. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS/File photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House National Security Council on Friday denied the United States was involved in a bungled incursion into Venezuela this week, allegedly to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, adding if it had been, it would have been “overt, direct & effective.”

The NSC issued a statement via Twitter after Maduro said that Venezuelan authorities had detained a pair of U.S. citizens working with a U.S. military veteran who has claimed responsibility for the foiled operation.

President Donald Trump had already denied U.S. involvement in the incident but the NSC took it a step further.

“The U.S. Govt had nothing to do with recent events alleged in Venezuela. Claims to the contrary are not credible. If this had been a U.S.-planned operation as claimed by Maduro, who’s been indicted on narco-terrorism charges, it would have been overt, direct & effective,” the statement said.

Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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