In July, Mr. Trump visited Florida to reaffirm his opposition to Mr. Maduro and other socialist governments in Latin America. He accused his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., of backing “pro-Communist policies” across Latin America in what was seen as an effort to consolidate his hesitant support among the Latinos in the state.
A senior administration official said Mr Grenell’s meeting with Mr Rodriguez bypassed established diplomatic channels to secure a foreign policy victory for the president ahead of the election. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal discussions.
In the closing months of the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump sought to present his work on the international stage, including the release of American hostages in Yemen, the signing of a historic peace accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and the promise to withdraw the United States. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He also sought a new nuclear weapons deal with Russia.
Mr Grenell, who had served as Mr Trump’s ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence, was involved in another recent effort to negotiate a major international deal. He was appointed special envoy for the peace talks between Serbia and Kosovo late last year, although the State Department already had a special envoy in the region.
His brash style and partisan background ruffled feathers among some of those he worked with in roles.
Mr. Grenell’s trip to Mexico City surprised senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. At the State Department, officials rushed to learn details of the trip after being questioned about it by reporters, with some fearing it could confuse Mr. Guaidó about U.S. diplomacy and fuel concerns that the The Trump administration was unwilling to its strategy.
He also exposed a rift between the White House and the State Department, where officials have long denied that the Trump administration is increasingly frustrated with Mr. Guaidó and the standoff in Venezuela as Washington imposes sanctions. meteoric economic growth against the government of Mr. Maduro and his followers.