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Trump Envoy Grenell Tried to Secretly Negotiate Maduro Exit

  • Former German ambassador met Maduro representative in Mexico
  • Talks unsuccessful, as Trump seeks foreign policy victories
Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro

Photographer: Jhonn Zerpa/AFP via Getty Images

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An influential Trump administration official secretly met with a representative of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Mexico City in September to try to negotiate the Venezuelan leader’s peaceful exit from power.

Richard Grenell, the former Acting U.S. director of National Intelligence and ambassador to Germany, and Jorge Rodriguez, a Venezuelan politician who is close to Maduro, met in the Mexican capital, according to four people familiar with the matter. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the rest of the State Department weren’t told about the trip beforehand, according to two of the people.