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NY mosque investor declines Trump's buyout offer

September 09, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump's offer to buy an investor's stake where a mosque is planned near ground zero is falling flat.

Wolodymyr Starosolsky is a lawyer for the investor in the real estate partnership that controls the site. He says Trump's offer is "just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight."

In a letter released Thursday by Trump's publicist, Trump told Hisham Elzanaty he would buy his stake in the lower Manhattan building for 25 percent more than whatever he paid.

Trump says he's making the offer not because he thinks the location is spectacular, but because it would end "a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation."

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Critics say building a mosque so close to where Islamic extremists brought down the World Trade Center would be an insult.

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