Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in an interview released Tuesday called President Trump a white supremacist and said that the Ku Klux Klan “rules the White House.”
“It’s a political war, of the United States empire, of the interests of the extreme right that today is governing, of the Ku Klux Klan, that rules the White House, to take over Venezuela,” Maduro said in an interview with the BBC that was published Tuesday.
When asked if he believes Trump is a “white supremacist” after his comment about the KKK, Maduro answered: “He is, publicly and openly … They hate us, they belittle us, because they only believe in their own interests, and in the interests of the United States.”
“They are warmongering in order to take over Venezuela,” Maduro said.
Maduro’s comments come as the Trump administration has officially recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, despite Maduro being sworn for a second six-year term.
The move by the U.S. came as most of the international community declared the presidential election in Venezuela illegitimate, including the European Union and the Organization of American States.
Despite being under immense pressure by the international community to call for new presidential elections, Maduro, who still has the backing of Russia and China, said in the interview that he does not see the need for a repeat election.
“What’s the logic, reasoning, to repeat an election?” he asked in the interview.
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The Venezuelan leader said that Guaidó only had the support of “about 10” governments and added that they are trying to “impose a government that nobody has elected.”
“The extremists of the White House have taken it upon themselves to carry out a coup in Venezuela,” he also said.
The interview comes as U.S. lawmakers are warning Russia not to interfere in Venezuela.
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday morning that the U.S. military may have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia places weapons there.
“I think that it could happen,” Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told a Defense Writers Group. “You’ve got a guy down there that is killing everybody. You could have him put together a base that Russia would have on our hemisphere. And if those things happen, it may be to the point where we’ll have to intervene with troops and respond.”