EXCLUSIVE: Green Beret veteran who plotted botched Venezuelan coup boasted it was an OFFICIAL government operation to his former business partner and claimed ‘State Department’ were paying

  • Former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau claimed responsibility for masterminding the failed Venezuelan coup to overthrow its leader Nicholas Maduro
  • On Monday two U.S. former special forces soldiers were arrested in Venezuela after their ‘plot to assassinate Maduro’ was foiled 
  • Goudreau’s ex-business partner Drew White told DailyMail.com that Goudreau had boasted of having U.S. government support for his botched plan
  • Goudreau, 43, claimed he had a contract with the US State Department to ‘protect oil interests in Venezuela’ and claimed ‘we’re going to topple’ Maduro 
  • White, a former special forces senior weapons sergeant, said though he trusted his friend, he found it hard to believe the US had backed the ill-conceived plans
  • The 35-year-old added: ‘He’s a good man. He was the best man at my wedding. We have a lot of history together and it never seemed like he was lying like that’
  • Goudreau appears to have provided security for Trump for at least three of his campaign rallies
  • It has also emerged that Goudreau struck on the idea of a coup after meeting with Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller

An ex-business partner of the former Green Beret behind the failed Venezuelan coup has revealed he boasted of having U.S. government support for his botched plan.

Special forces veteran Jordan Goudreau, 43, told his close friend that he had a contract with the US State Department to ‘protect oil interests in Venezuela’, and claimed ‘we’re going to topple’ Venezuelan leader Nicholas Maduro, the friend told DailyMail.com.

Donald Trump has said the attempted coup, which led to the arrest of two other American special forces veterans by Maduro’s troops on Monday, had ‘nothing to do with our government’.

But Goudreau’s former business partner, Drew White, told DailyMail.com the would-be insurgent leader visited him in Colorado recently and made his claims of U.S. government support before traveling to Colombia to launch the short-lived coup.

Former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau claimed responsibility for masterminding the failed Venezuelan coup to overthrow its leader Nicholas Maduro

On Monday two U.S. former special forces soldiers Luke Denman and Airan Berry (circled) were arrested in Venezuela after their ‘plot to assassinate Maduro’ was foiled 

Goudreau said he last communicated with Denman (right) and Berry (left) when they were adrift in a boat ‘hugging’ the Caribbean coast of Venezuela. They were still in their boat following an initial confrontation with the Venezuelan Navy on Monday, he said

Goudreau’s ex-business partner Drew White (pictured) told DailyMail.com that Goudreau had boasted of having U.S. government support for his botched plan. Goudreau, 43, claimed he had a contract with the US State Department to ‘protect oil interests in Venezuela’ and claimed ‘we’re going to topple’ Maduro

White said he fought alongside Goudreau in Iraq, made him best man at his wedding and founded Florida security firm Silvercorps USA with the Green Beret veteran.

The two men started the firm in March 2018 with the aim of posting special operations soldiers in schools across the US to prevent school shooters in the wake of the Parkland massacre, but split months later when Goudreau began pursuing other projects.

White, who lives in Colorado Springs, described the last time he saw Goudreau before he embarked on his unlikely scheme to defeat the Venezuelan army with a rag-tag group of 300 poorly-fed and barely-trained rebels.

‘He came out to Colorado,’ said White. ‘He said he had a deal from the State Department to protect oil interests in Venezuela.

‘He was saying it was handed to him directly. He was saying it was directed and passed down by the State Department, that it was a legitimate operation and they also had some private funding backing, which isn’t unusual with these kinds of things.

‘Essentially he was like ”we’re going to topple Maduro.” At that point I was like ”this doesn’t seem legitimate” and we broke ways.’

White, 35, a former special forces senior weapons sergeant, said although he trusted his friend, he found it hard to believe the government had backed Goudreau’s ill-conceived plans.

‘He’s a good man. He was the best man at my wedding. We have a lot of history together and it never seemed like he was lying like that,’ he said.

White, who lives in Colorado Springs, described the last time he saw Goudreau before he embarked on his unlikely scheme to defeat the Venezuelan army with a rag-tag group of 300 poorly-fed and barely-trained rebels. He is pictured posing with a World War II veteran in an image from Instagram

Luke Denman (bottom) and Airan Berry (top) as pictured during their arrest in Venezuela

Luke Denman (left) and Airan Berry (right): Two arrested US ‘mercenaries playing Rambo’ are paraded after failed attempt ‘to kill’ Venezuela’s Maduro in a failed raid, the president claimed 

On Monday, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro used a press conference to display the equipment that had allegedly been seized by Venezuelan armed forces after capturing the ‘mercenaries’

‘But once you started looking at it, none of it really added up. He kept asking to meet with people for funding. But typically with a State Department contract the funding is shored up.

‘You might have some private entities helping here and there. But it was pretty obvious that it was not a state-sanctioned activity.’

Goudreau reportedly received support from billionaire Thomas Roen Kraft, a member of the famous cheese-making family.

The eccentric billionaire allegedly lured prospective donors to fund Goudreau’s rebel force with the promise of preferential access to negotiate deals in the energy and mining sectors if the coup was a success.

Kraft denies giving Goudreau any money.

Goudreau appears to have provided security for Trump at least at three of his campaign rallies. Pictures and videos of the rallies recorded on CSPAN and posted on the Silvercorp’s Instagram account show the ex-Green Beret apparently working at rallies in Pennsylvania in March 2018, and Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina in October that year.

It has also emerged that Goudreau struck on the idea of a coup after meeting with Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller.

Goudreau accompanied Schiller to a meeting in Miami with activist Lester Toledo, who was working as coordinator for the delivery of humanitarian aid for then Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó. 

The White House says Schiller cut off all contact with Goudreau after the meeting.  Schiller then went to the White House as an assistant to the president.

A former NYPD cop, he was used by Trump to take the letter firing James Comey to FBI headquarters in 2017, but left the Trump administration himself in September that year amid reports of clashes with then-chief of staff John Kelly.

Schiller quickly set up a security firm which has been paid more than $225,000 by the Republican National Committee for work on plans for the RNC convention due to happen in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August.

Goudreau identified himself on Sunday as the leader of the purported plot to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro named ‘Operation Gedeón’.

On Monday, Maduro announced that two US citizens were among eight arrested after authorities were alerted by fishermen in Chuao, a village on the northern coast of the state of Aragua.

It came after eight potential raiders were killed and two more were arrested in the Caribbean port city of La Guaira as part of Goudreau’s amateur plot.

Maduro’s forces also arrested rebels in the Venezuelan city of Puerto La Cruz last week. Photographs posted on social media of supplies seized by the pro-Maduro soldiers show camouflage backpacks, masks, and – bizarrely – an Airsoft rifle.

Maduro ally and Attorney General Tarek William Saab said in total the government has arrested 114 people suspected in the attempted attack and they are on the hunt for 92 others.

It has also emerged that Goudreau struck on the idea of a coup after meeting with Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller (pictured)  

President Maduro called the arrested men ‘terrorist mercenaries’ and blamed the attacks on the Trump administration, opposition leader Guaidó and neighboring Colombia, all of which have denied involvement.

A State Department spokesperson called the attempted coup a ‘melodrama’ in which the U.S. government had no role, and warned the Maduro regime is running ‘a major disinformation campaign’.

‘As President Trump and [defense] Secretary [Mark] Esper said, the United States Government was not involved in recent events in Venezuela,’ the spokesperson said.

‘There is a major disinformation campaign underway by the Maduro regime, making it difficult to separate facts from propaganda.

‘We are making efforts to learn more, including about the activities of two U.S. citizens who are reportedly in the custody of the former regime, as well as Mr. Goudreau.

‘We will also be looking closely into the role of the Maduro regime in this melodrama and especially of the very large Cuban intelligence apparatus in Venezuela. The record of falsehoods and manipulation by Maduro and his accomplices, as well as their highly questionable representation of the details, argues that nothing should be taken at face value when we see the distorting of facts. 

‘What is clear is that the former regime is using the event to justify an increased level of repression,’ the spokesperson added.

‘We would note the timing of these events. A massacre of prisoners took place last weekend at Los Llanos prison and the former regime is attempting to avoid responsibility. 46 prisoners were killed and 74 injured.

‘While a thorough investigation has been demanded, we must all recognize that a real investigation will have to await the end of the Maduro regime and the return of democracy to Venezuela.’

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