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Trump Distances Self From Combs

January 8, 2000

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) _ In his book, possible presidential candidate Donald Trump credited his ``friendship″ with rap mogul Sean ``Puffy″ Combs for helping him become more tolerant. Now that Combs faces a gun possession charge, Trump says they’re not very close.

``Puffy’s a good guy as far as I know, but I don’t know him really well,″ Trump said Friday before meetings with Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. Trump is considering a presidential run as a Reform party candidate.

In ``The America We Deserve,″ Trump lists Combs among others who have helped him learn tolerance. The list also includes boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

``Through them, and through more recent friendships with Puffy Combs, Sammy Sosa and others, I’ve had the chance to learn firsthand about the diversity of American culture ...,″ the book says.

Combs and actress-singer girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were arrested after a Dec. 27 shooting at a New York City night club. Combs and two bodyguards were charged with illegal gun possession over a weapon allegedly found in the vehicle they were riding in.

Combs has vehemently denied owning the gun. A Combs protege, Jamal ``Shyne″ Barrow, was charged with attempted murder in the shooting that wounded three.

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