Former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) defended his effort to engender Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi's removal from power, saying he is not trying to undermine President Obama.

Weldon has faced questions over his trip to Libya, a country with which he has close ties but is embroiled with internal strife and facing an internationally sanctioned military intervention against its government.


"I'm not here to argue about whether I'm allowed to be here," Weldon said in an interview in Tripoli with CBS News. "I'm not doing anything illegal. No one's paying me to be here. I'm here because I want to do something positive. And I want to help my government get out of what is a very difficult situation. I'm not here to undermine Barack Obama."

Weldon has been a longtime proponent of engaging with the Gadhafi's regime, even though he said he is in the country to convince him to step down after 40 years in power.

Some media outlets have drawn attention to the former Armed Services Committee chairman's dealings with Gadhafi, including a 2008 proposal reportedly drawn up by a defense firm for which Weldon worked that would have supplied military assistance to Libya. 

The plan was not carried out and the company denied sending it.

Weldon stressed that he is on a personal mission to Libya at the request of Gadhafi's regime and raised the prospect of allowing Gadhafi to take a ceremonial role at the African Union should he step aside.

"I'm not here on behalf of our country. Only the secretary of state can do that. I'm a Republican, but I have respect for Hilary Clinton," Weldon said. "I'm here to set forward ideas that hopefully would allow them to come together on a legitimate, immediate plan to cease the bombing on both sides."