Speed Reads

making a deal with the devil

Report: Trump sought investment partnerships with Gadhafi

In the years before Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011, Donald Trump tried to raise money from his regime, U.S. and Libyan sources told BuzzFeed News.

The presumptive Republican nominee's overtures to Gadhafi started in 2008 or 2009, when he wanted to partner with the Libyan Investment Authority, which invests profits from the country's oil industry. Trump approached the government a few ways, including by inviting then-Libyan Ambassador to the United States Ali Aujali to Florida for golf. Sources told BuzzFeed News it's not clear what they discussed during the visit. In 2009, Trump rented his home in Bedford, New York, to Gadhafi during his visit to the UN. Gadhafi erected a giant tent on the property and planned to slaughter a lamb, but was told to leave by the city. A public relations official who helped set up the visit said Trump called him soon after and asked to have a meeting with Gadhafi to talk about business opportunities involving "the Mediterranean waterfront and construction."

The sources said it was never clear what project Trump had in mind, but it was possible he wanted to license his name on a project funded by the Libyan government. In 2011, Trump said he supported efforts to depose of Gadhafi, but recently he called the intervention in Libya "a total mistake." A former U.S. official told BuzzFeed News U.S. intelligence and law enforcement "absolutely" knew Trump was trying to get close to Gadhafi, and "we were disappointed. The fact that he would allow Gadhafi to stay at his place, that says tons. Hotels would not let Gadhafi in." Read more about Gadhafi's strange visit to Bedford at BuzzFeed News.