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March 19, 2019, 4:38 p.m. EDT

Trump Today: President warns Venezuela of tougher sanctions and brands Kellyanne Conway’s husband a ‘total loser’

Trump tells reporters he’ll never be a fan of the late Sen. John McCain

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By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch


Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a joint news conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in the Rose Garden at the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump is hosting President Bolsonaro for a visit and bilateral talks at the White House today. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump warned Venezuela of even tougher sanctions on Tuesday, as he accused social-media giants of bias and attacked adviser Kellyanne Conway’s husband.

VENEZUELA WARNINGS

At a Rose Garden news conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Trump said the U.S. can be “a lot tougher” with sanctions on Venezuela, where the White House opposes the regime of Nicolas Maduro and has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as president. Trump said that “all options are on the table” as a response to the Maduro regime.

The president also told reporters he’s supporting Brazil’s effort to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based intergovernmental group focused on economics and trade. In addition, Trump said he’s looking at support for Brazil’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — voicing support for Brazil to join two major multinational organizations.

Live blog recap: Trump pledges scrutiny of social media companies and says ‘all options on table’ for Venezuela in news conference with Bolsonaro.

SLAMMING SOCIAL MEDIA

Frequent Twitter /quotes/zigman/23556538/composite TWTR +15.64%   user Trump attacked that and other social media platforms by saying in a tweet they are “sooo on the side of the Radical Left Democrats” and telling reporters “something is happening” with the companies’ leadership. “We have to get to the bottom of it,” he said, without elaborating.

Hours before the news conference, Trump said he’d be “looking into” Facebook’s /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite FB +1.29%   blocking of his social media chief, Dan Scavino. The company said Tuesday Scavino’s postings were mistakenly reported as spam and apologized for temporarily blocking him.

See: Facebook apologizes for temporarily blocking Trump's social media guru.

Now read: Trump already blitzing Facebook, Google with ads as Democrats struggle to catch up.

CONWAY AND MCCAIN

Trump described George Conway, who is married to senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, as a “total loser” in response to a tweet posted by Brad Parscale, the president’s 2020 campaign manager. George Conway has questioned the president’s mental state and tweeted Sunday that Trump’s “condition is getting worse.” Trump's tweet prompted a response by Conway, who said more people would learn about his “narcissistic personality disorder.”

Trump also escalated his attack on former Sen. John McCain, who died in August, telling reporters he was “never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.” Last weekend, Trump tweeted comments critical of the late Arizona Republican.

Also read: Meghan McCain calls Trump ‘pathetic’ for continued attacks against her late father.

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Robert Schroeder is the White House reporter for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @mktwrobs.

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