Former US president Donald Trump says Nicola Sturgeon “has not been very helpful to Scotland” and “it’s too bad to hear what’s happening with her”.
He made the comments to STV News during a round of golf at his Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire.
Asked what he thought of Sturgeon and the ongoing police investigation in the SNP’s finances, Trump said: “I think it’s too bad, she’s not been very helpful to Scotland and I don’t think she’s been a great person for Scotland and it’s too bad to hear what’s happening with her.
“You want people that love their country, this is a very special country, it’s too bad what’s happened to her.”
His remarks come after Sturgeon appeared in public at the Scottish Parliament last week for the first time since her husband, former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, was arrested on April 5 before being released without charge pending further investigation into the SNP’s finances.
The party’s treasurer Colin Beattie was also arrested last month in the same police probe then also released without charge pending further investigation.
The trip to Scotland is Trump’s first abroad since he became the first former US president to face criminal charges.
No travel conditions were placed on him after he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York last month.
The visit also coincides with the second week of a civil trial in Manhattan over accusations, denied by Trump, he raped former magazine columnist E Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room in 1996.
Trump arrived in Scotland on Monday, landing at Aberdeen airport before travelling to his Menie Estate golf course near Aberdeen.
On Monday, Trump attended a ceremony to break ground for a second course at the resort, to be named the MacLeod course – dedicated to his late mother, Mary Anne MacLeod.
She was born on Lewis in the Western Isles before emigrating to the US.
Following his time in Scotland, Trump will head to his golf course at Doonbeg, County Clare, on Ireland’s west coast.