Donald Trump offered Thursday to buy out a major investor in the real estate partnership that controls the site near ground zero where a Muslim group wants to build a 13-story Islamic center and mosque.
The offer, though, fell flat nearly instantly.
“This is just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight,” said Wolodymyr Starosolsky, a lawyer for the investor, Hisham Elzanaty.
In a letter released Thursday by Trump’s publicist, the real estate investor told Elzanaty that he would buy his stake in the lower Manhattan building for 25 percent more than whatever he paid.
“I am making this offer as a resident of New York and citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not), but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse,” the letter said.
Trump also attached a condition to his offer: He said that as part of the deal, the backers of the project would need to promise that any new mosque they constructed would be at least five blocks farther away from the World Trade Center site.