Clinton hits back at Trump over alleged Gaddafi dealings

Clinton hits back at Trump over alleged Gaddafi dealings
3 min read
16 September, 2016
Hillary Clinton has faced criticism over her role in US intervention in Libya, but the publication of a Newsweek exclusive has given her the opportunity to hit back.
Clinton was quick to criticise Trump on Twitter over his alleged dealings with Gaddafi
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has waded into a war of words with Donald Trump over her support for military intervention in Libya.

As the presidential election campaign gathers pace, Clinton has faced severe criticism from Trump for her role in the Obama administration's campaign in the oil-rich north African nation. At the time, Clinton was serving as secretary of state.

During a speech in New York in June, Trump claimed that "no secretary of state has been more wrong, more often and in more places".

"The Hillary Clinton foreign policy has cost America thousands of lives and trillions and trillions of dollars and unleashed ISIS across the world," he claimed.

Speaking on Libya, Trump accused Clinton of culpability in the death of late American ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed when the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked by armed men in September 2012.

"He was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed," said Trump, speaking in June.

"Ambassador Stevens and his staff in Libya made hundreds and hundreds of requests for security. They were desperate… She started the war that put them in Libya, denied him the security he asked for, then left him there to die."

Speaking last week, Clinton said there was "no difference between my opponent and myself" over Libya, adding that Trump had been recorded "supporting intervention in Libya when Gaddafi was threatening to massacre his population".

However, on Wednesday, following the publication of a Newsweek exclusive questioning the scrupulousness of the Trump Organisation's business ties with figures including Gaddafi, Clinton changed her tone.

Taking the war of words to Twitter, Clinton directed a question to Trump, asking incredulously: "If you were willing to work with Qaddafi - a known terrorist and dictator - is there anyone you aren't willing to make a deal with? Who?"

The Newsweek article drew attention to alleged attempts by Trump to woo Gaddafi, despite the fact the former Libyan dictator had been viewed as a sponsor of terrorism by the United States since the Reagan administration.

In particular it alleges that, beginning in 2008, Trump made entreaties towards Gaddafi and Libyan government officials seeking deals - including a plan to build a hotel on the Libyan coast - that would result in cash being deposited in the Trump Organisation's kitty from a sovereign wealth fund called the Libyan Investment Authority.

In return, Gaddafi was offered financial incentives and sweeteners including the opportunity to lease Trump's multi-million dollar estate in Westchester, New York, the article alleges.

This particular deal is said to have come about after the former Libyan dictator was unable to find a suitable place to pitch his famous Bedouin-style tent during a 2009 visit to New York for a UN General Assembly meeting.

Although Gaddafi never stayed at the Trump residence, due in part to protests from locals, Trump notably claimed in June that he made a lot of money with Gaddafi. "He paid me a fortune," Trump said.