Why Russia won’t let a mosque in New York City be built: A new analysis
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images WASHINGTON—It took a long time for a Trump Tower apartment building to come to fruition in New Jersey, and the White House has yet to say whether Trump himself will have a say in the fate of the building.
But the construction of a new mosque in downtown Manhattan has been pushed back by the Trump administration to April, which could mean the new building is now moot.
Trump’s announcement came in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States.
The New York Times first reported the delay.
In his speech, Trump said he had “made a lot of great decisions” but also said he wanted to make sure that those decisions “do not come back to haunt us.”
The new mosque is part of a $1.4 billion project to transform the downtown Brooklyn Heights section of Manhattan into a “global city” that includes apartments, shops, museums and offices.
The project, which was approved by the city last year, has been in the works for about a decade.
A spokesperson for the White Senate, who declined to be named, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the president does not plan to speak with the group until the building is completed.
But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president is “extremely excited” to have the project moving forward and that he plans to make the decision after the project is completed “with the help of the architects, engineers and other professionals.”
In December, the State Department sent the Trump Organization a letter that included a list of conditions, including the construction timeline, for the project, and said the building was being built for the use of Muslims and would “enhance our capacity to promote peace, justice and tolerance around the world.”
Trump said during a campaign rally that the project was being done because “Muslims want to be built here.”
But the president’s administration is still waiting for a response from the State Dept. before announcing the project’s location.
A State Department spokesperson told the AP that the State and City Department have not received a response and declined further comment.
“We are working to expedite the final approvals and are ready to make any announcement if that happens,” Sanders said in an email.
The mosque will be a landmark building that will bring new life to a downtown district where the building at the center of the Trump Tower project will remain empty since it has no parking.
It’s unclear when the Trump team will get a chance to make a decision about the mosque, and Trump has refused to say when the project will be finished.
But many in New England have been waiting for months for the new mosque to be completed.
When the mosque was initially announced, the New York Police Department said it was due to be finished by 2019.
Trump has repeatedly said he wants the Trump Towers to be demolished.
He has also said that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and other terrorist groups are the real threats to America.