The developer of an Islamic community center near the former site of the World Trade Center is a "low-level" real estate investor more interested in money than a mosque, real estate magnate Donald Trump told CNBC.
Speaking days after he offered the developer, Hisham Elzanaty, 25 percent above the price paid for his stake in the Park Place property just a year ago in exchange for moving the mosque elsewhere, Trump said "these are not the finest apples in the barrel."
Elzanaty reportedly has rejected Trump's offer for the building, with his lawyer calling it "a cheap attempt at publicity."
"This isn't about a mosque," Trump said. "This is about a mosque being used to get this guy more money. That's only my opinion, but this is an opinion that's well formed as a deal-marker, well formed after speaking to the principal."
Someone Trump described as an associate of Elzanaty told him the sellers of the building a few blocks north of Ground Zero "were stupid people to sell at that price."
Elzanaty and his partnership paid $4.8 million for a half-stake in the property last year.