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Is Donald Trump Scottish? The former US president’s links to Scotland explained

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The judge’s findings said the former president was confronted with evidence that, in 2014, the Trump Organization had submitted a statement to UK regulators stating that it did not intend to develop the Aberdeen property any further because of his opposition to wind farms.

The Aberdeen case formed part of wider legal action which claimed the company lied “by billions” through submitting false financial statements to banks and insurance companies to obtain better rates on loans and insurance coverage.

READ MORE: Calls for police probe over Donald Trump’s fraudulent £200m hike to Scots homes value

But what are Donald Trump’s connections to Scotland?

His late mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, was Scottish, having been born in 1912 and raised in a Gaelic-speaking household in Tong, about three miles from Stornoway, the main town on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Her mother was also born there in 1867 to parents Donald and Mary Smith. Some believe Donald Trump was so named in honour of Mary Anne’s maternal grandfather.

She emigrated to the United States at the age of 18, leaving on board the RMS Transylvania in May 11, 1930, to live a very different life and seek work as a domestic servant.

The Herald: Mary Anne MacLeod, the mother of Donald Trump

She was one of tens of thousands of Scots who travelled to the US and Canada in the early years of the last century looking to escape economic hardship at home.

Six years later she married property developer and builder Fred Trump, the son of German immigrants and one of the most eligible men in New York. The couple lived in a wealthy area of Queens and Mary Anne was active with charity work.

Together, they welcomed five children, including the fourth, Donald Trump Jr.

Mr Trump’s mother became a US citizen in 1942 and died aged 88 in 2000, a year after her husband’s passing.

Donald Trump still has three cousins on Lewis, including two who live in the ancestral home, which has been rebuilt since Mary Anne MacLeod’s time.

What does Donald Trump say about his Scottish links?

When Mr Trump arrived in Scotland last year to visit his golf course he declared: “It’s great to be home, this was the home of my mother.”

He said a second Aberdeenshire golf course was in memory of her. “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.”

An interactive map of Trump and his relationship with Scotland. 

 

When did he last visit Scotland?

It was in May, 2023 when he arrived at Aberdeen’s airport and was met by two pipers, a red carpet and a 10-vehicle motorcade. He pumped his fist in trademark fashion as he exited the plane.

The purpose of his visit was to to go to the Menie estate site near the city to break ground on the construction of a “spectacular” second course dedicated to his mother.

He said: “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.”

He had previously spent two days at his Turnberry course in South Ayrshire while in office in 2018, meeting Theresa May and the Queen during the visit.

Where are Donald Trump’s Scottish golf clubs?

His first golf course in Balmedie, Trump International Golf Links, opened in 2012, six years after he purchased the 1400-acre site.

The second golf course was given the go-ahead in October 2020, despite an outcry from residents.

Mr Trump’s hotel and golf club, Trump Turnberry Hotel and Resort, in Ayrshire, Scotland. It offers guests horse riding, golf, beach activities, and more.

The Herald: Donald Trump at Trump Turnberry Clubhouse in Ayrshire

He purchased Turnberry it in 2014 from a Dubai-based company and announced his intention to invest around $260 million into transforming the venue.

What about the houses that were planned for the Aberdeenshire golf course?

Some four years have passed since the latest proposals for as many as 500 houses and 50 holiday homes at the Menie Estate were backed by 38 votes to 24.

Under a developer contributions deal agreed by Aberdeenshire Council in 2022, £770,000 will be paid towards affordable housing in the Ellon area for the first 77 homes delivered as part of the development. It will increase by £10,000 for each extra home added as the work goes on.

Despite the lack of progress since then, Eric Trump insisted in August, last year that the housing plan “remains a big priority” but it will come after the creation of a second course at Balmedie.

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