Report: Trump sought investment partnerships with Gadhafi

Moammar Gadhafi.
(Image credit: Salah Malkawi/Getty Images)

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.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.