Trump asks Colombia's help to end Venezuela political crisis

President Donald Trump meets with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017. But under a peace treaty signed a year ago, the FARC rebels are disarming, and they have agreed to support anti-drug programs.

Since the United States launched its "Plan Colombia" in the late 1990s, the country has sent more than $10 billion Dollars in military, anti-narcotics, and development aid to Colombia.

The press conference is also the president's first public appearance after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be special counsel to investigate any ties between Russian Federation and The Trump campaign. "We have to all work together". These efforts are a promising start, but a long-term effort will be needed to significantly reduce coca production and the threat it poses to both countries. Trump said he acted because Comey, who had been overseeing the Russian Federation investigation, "wasn't doing a good job" leading the agency, calling him a "showboat" and a "grandstander". A first tranche of $450 million was allotted for this year, but Colombia says it needs at least that much every year.

The meeting came as the Trump administration rolled out new sanctions Thursday on members of Venezuela's supreme court for alleged human rights violations.

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TRUMP: No, no - next question. We have seized record amounts of tons last year, and this year, we're doing even better than last year.

Santos avoided discussing the wall directly and instead pointed to areas where the US and Colombia were working together.

As Colombia's five-decade conflict with Marxist rebels winds down, President Juan Manuel Santos is battling to keep Washington's interest in the country that receives the greatest amount of US aid in the Americas.

The US president spoke to the media for the first time since a series of controversies enveloped the White House earlier this week.

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Santos - who one day prior urged the U.S.to stop focusing on drugs and instead work on eradicating criminal networks - was careful to tie the peace process to the drug war.

After the Colombian president finished his response, Trump offered his take in blunt fashion.

Regarding his unstable neighbor Venezuela, Santos said he is hoping for a nonviolent democratic transition of power, since Colombia would suffer most if the violence expands to other countries.

"And that was a long and very diplomatic answer to your question", Trump said to Karl.

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