Former US president Donald Trump has broken ground on a new golf course in Scotland named after his mother.
The MacLeod course at the Menie Estate near Aberdeen will be the second Trump has constructed in the area and is named in tribute to his Lewis-born mother, Mary Anne.
He told reporters it was “great to be home” after arriving at Aberdeen airport on Monday morning alongside son Eric to be met by a piper and ten-vehicle motorcade.
Trump boasted the course would be “fit to host many great championships in the future,” and would “replicate” the controversial links opened in 2012.
“We’ve had a lot of pleasure in working on this land and there is no other land like it. We have incredible views by the sea and there are no other dunes like these in the world. It will be a great success,” he said.
“This project is very close to my heart and I am delighted to say that this is our first day of work on the new course.
“It will be dedicated to my late mother and that is a source of great pride to me and my family. My mother was an incredible woman who loved Scotland.
“She returned here every year and she loved The Queen. I got to know The Queen too during my visits here I love Scotland just as much.”
The visit comes as the former president is embroiled in a legal battle over alleged falsified business documents in New York.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges of falsifying business records to hide damaging information ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Following his time in Scotland, he will head to his course in Doonbeg on Ireland’s west coast.
Trump, who is running for the White House again in 2024 and is seen by many as the presumptive Republican nominee, said his campaign is “on my mind,” stressing that a victory for him would make America “greater than ever before”.
“Will be leaving for Scotland & Ireland soon in order to see and inspect my great properties there,” he wrote.
“The golf courses and hotels are among the greatest in the world – Turnberry and Aberdeen, in Scotland, and Doonbeg, in Ireland.
“Will be meeting with many wonderful friends, and cutting a ribbon for a new and spectacular second course in Aberdeen.
“Very exciting despite the fact that it is ‘make America great again’ that is on my mind, in fact, America will be greater than ever before.”
The tycoon’s trip to Scotland comes as he faces legal trouble in his native New York over his business practices.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges of falsifying records to hide damaging information ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Trump previously spent two days at his Turnberry course while in office in 2018, meeting Theresa May and the Queen during the visit.
Asked last week if he will meet Trump, who has made controversial statements about Muslims in the past, First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I would find it difficult, I have to say, to meet with him without raising the significance of concerns I have of the remarks that he’s made in the past.”
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