The New York Police Department is on clean-up duty after it was reported today that officials were considering allowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit ground zero in New York next week, reports CBS News' Ryan Corsaro.
Police Chief Ray Kelly made comments earlier today that the NYPD said were misinterpreted by some reporters, including one from the New York Sun, who wrote that the NYPD was working with Iranians on a "possible visit" to ground zero for Ahmadinejad.
Spokesman Paul Browne corrected that report, saying that although police are working with the Iranian government to provide security "as they do with all heads of state visiting New York," a request made last month to visit ground zero was rejected.
The request was to go inside of the construction area, known as the pit, where the World Trade Center towers once stood. Browne also says a request to visit the vicinity of ground zero by Ahmadinejad would be rejected for security reasons.
But word of the possible visit got to some candidates on the campaign trail, who released statements before the correction.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani released his statement from London, saying "under no circumstances should the NYPD or any other American authority assist President Ahmadinejad in visiting Ground Zero...assisting Ahmadinejad in touring Ground Zero - hallowed ground for all Americans - is outrageous."
Governor Mitt Romney also mentioned the story while campaigning in Florida, saying "it's inconceivable that any consideration would be given to the idea of entertaining the leader of a state sponsor of terror at Ground Zero."
The Iranian leader is reported to have asked to lay a wreath inside ground zero, a request which the State Department quickly condemned.
Ahmadinejad plans to address the United Nations in Manhattan next week.