Trump Offers to Buy Out Mosque Investor

But lawyer quickly rejects $6M offer
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2010 4:39 PM CDT
In this file photo made April 11, 2008, Donald Trump walks the red carpet at the 2008 Miss USA Pageant at The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Eric Jamison, File)

(Newser) – Donald Trump wants to buy out the major stakeholder in the Manhattan building where a controversial Islamic center is planned, the New York Post reports. Trump offered Egyptian businessman Hisham Elzanaty a cool $6 million in cash—25% more than what he paid last year—for his stake in the site. It appears to be too little. Says Elzanaty's attorney: "This is just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight," reports AP.

Elzanaty has said previously that he wants "18 or 20 million dollars." In his statement, Trump said he hoped to "end a very serious, inflammatory and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse." He said he's not out for profit and included a stipulation that would bar the developers from building any future mosque within 5 blocks of Ground Zero. The news comes amid confusing reports that the mosque may be moving as part of a deal with the Koran-burning pastor.

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