Tent for Qaddafi Visit Dismantled

People gather around a tent Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009 on a property known as Seven Springs estate owned by real estate magnate Donald Trump in Bedford, N.Y. The Libyan government has pitched a tent on the property that leader Moammar Gadhafi may use for entertaining, according to a State Department official. Gadhafi is due to address the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
A tent on Donald Trump's estate in suburban New York City has been dismantled, and Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi apparently won't be staying there.

The dismantling came Wednesday just after Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano said the Secret Service told him Qaddafi would be coming to Trump's estate.

Spano's office later said the Secret Service reported he would not visit Bedford, after all. But they added that the information was "subject to change."

Leather couches and chairs were uncovered as the tent was taken down and men packed up goods.

The town of Bedford had ordered the dismantling, claiming the tent violated code.

Earlier Wednesday, the Trump Organization said Qaddafi would not be coming to the property and insisted that Trump has not rented property to him. But it said part of the estate "was leased on a short-term basis to Middle Eastern partners, who may or may not have a relationship to Mr. Qaddafi."

Sachs said Trump once proposed an 18-hole golf course on the site. Those plans fell through, and he is now seeking approval for "a high-end residential development" there.

A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivity and protocol concerns, told the AP that the property was obtained for the duration of this week's United Nations General Assembly. The official said no one would be staying there overnight.

Qaddafi's motorcade arrived at the Libyan Mission to the United Nations in Manhattan, just blocks from U.N. headquarters Tuesday evening. Dozens of police and Secret Service officers blocked off the venue.

Several dozen pro-Qaddafi demonstrators rallied near the office building housing the mission, carrying his portraits and chanting pro-Libyan slogans.

In Bedford, no-parking signs went up near Trump's Seven Springs estate. TV helicopters showed a tent on the Trump property. Police would not comment, and Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan would say only that the agency does not discuss the schedules or logistics of people it's protecting.

As word got out, local officials quickly objected to Qaddafi's anticipated presence. Qaddafi will likely face protests over Scotland's recent release of Libyan Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which killed 270 people.

Qaddafi had wanted to pitch a tent at Libya's five-acre estate in Englewood, New Jersey, and live and entertain there during the U.N. assembly. But local opposition turned him away.

Later, the Libyan government asked to use Manhattan's Central Park for a tent, but the request was denied.

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey said Qaddafi had shown a lack of remorse for the bombing and was "unwelcome throughout the New York area."