Access Pollywood: Trump Against Mosque at Ground Zero

by John Arundel

King of New York reiterates to Washington Life that he’s against the building of a mosque near Ground Zero during exclusive interview set to run in October issue.

Donald Trump.  Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life

Donald Trump. Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life

Billionaire developer and reality TV star Donald Trump is no stranger to real estate projects stirring up controversy, having built large swaths of the Manhattan skyline and educating contestants on his top-rated NBC show “The Apprentice” on how to be successful in getting what they want in business.

But the King of New York has reiterated to Washington Life previous comments that he’s dead-set against the building of a mosque near Ground Zero.

“It’s very insensitive and it shouldn’t be there,” Trump told WL, echoing remarks he made earlier in the week first reported by The New York Post / AP. “I’m a big believer in freedom of religion, but I think the mosque being in that location is absolutely wrong.”

Trump’s comments come just days after Miss USA, Rima Fakih, who is Muslim, said that she “totally agrees” with President Barrack Obama with his statement on constitutional rights of freedom of religion. “But, I also agree that it shouldn’t be so close to the World Trade Center,” Fakih told reporters. “We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion.”

Trump owns the Miss USA and Miss Universe franchises. These comments and more were made during wide-ranging interview and photo shoot with the magazine at Trump National Golf Club in Loudoun County. The full interview and photos are to be published in Washington Life‘s October issue.

Trump’s comments came just a week before mosque opponents and supporters in Lower Manhattan, as noted in The New York Post, hurled insults at each other, brandished taunting signs, and had to be cordoned off by New York Police at dueling rallies near the controversial site.

According to news reports, about 500 foes of the proposed mosque shouted “U-S-A, U-S-A!” behind police barricades and held signs demanding, “No clubhouse for terrorists,” while a block away about 150 mosque supporters were kept behind a second set of barricades, shouting “Fascists go home!”

“It’s wrong on every basic level,” Trump told WL. “It just doesn’t belong there.”

In May, 2009, Trump paid $20 million for the 850-acre Lowes Island Club in Potomac Falls, VA., purchasing it from B.F. Saul, who at the time was divesting much of his real estate and banking interests, including Chevy Chase Bank. The club was immediately re-branded as Trump National Golf Club and a massive facelift is underway, including longer fairways, a newly refurbished clubhouse and the construction of the world’s largest man-made waterfall.

“My son Eric went to Georgetown and brought it to my attention,” Trump said. “I’ve had it on my radar for a long time. It’s just going to be an amazing place.”

Read more of Trump’s interview in the October 2010 issue of Washington Life magazine.

Trump confers with staff last week at his newly-acquired Trump National Golf Club. Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life.

Trump confers with staff last week at his newly-acquired Trump National Golf Club. Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life.

The Don arrives at Trump National Gold Course is Virginia. Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life

The Don arrives at Trump National Gold Course is Virginia. Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life

Trump on the links with WL Photographer Tony Powell. Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life

Trump on the links with WL Photographer Tony Powell. Photo by John Arundel/Washington Life


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