The Russian government on Tuesday expressed bewilderment at President Donald Trump's tweet on Monday that they had started withdrawing their forces from Venezuela.
The president turned some heads on Monday when he tweeted out that "Russia has informed us that they have removed most of their people from Venezuela."
The Washington Post reports, however, that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it never told Trump or anyone in the U.S. government that it was leaving Venezuela.
“We don’t know what ‘removed most of their people’ means,” Peskov said. “In fact, there are specialists there who service the hardware shipped to Venezuela earlier. This process is going in an orderly manner."
Although Peskov said he had no idea for certain where Trump was getting his information from, he speculated that he might have heard about a report in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Russian defense conglomerate Rostec had removed its defense advisers in the South American country, although the firm has denied the Journal's report.
The United States and Russia have been at odds over the Kremlin's support of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, whom the U.S. has been trying to remove from power for the past several months. Trump has at times downplayed Russia's role in propping up Maduro and last month said that Russian President Vladimir Putin "is not looking to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela."