DONALD TRUMP has said his battle to build a golf course in Scotland prepared him to take the White House.
In 2006 Trump bought Menie Estate, a 600-hectare property just north of Aberdeen – planning to transform it into a world-class golf resort.
But local landowners and environmental campaigners protested fiercely against the development plans – claiming it would wreck the landscape.
Despite the protests Trump was eventually granted permission to build a course on the site.
And now Trump has credited his battle with the people of Aberdeenshire with preparing him to become the next president of the United States.
Writing in a local paper, he said: “Let’s just say I have had some experiences and lessons learned in Scotland that have helped my current status politically.
“Most of you know by now that I have family roots in Scotland as my mother was born on the Isle of Lewis.
“I am also known as a great golf course developer, and since Scotland and gold go hand in hand, it is no surprise that I would be passionate about developing a golf course there.
“When I first arrived on the scene in Aberdeen, the people of Scotland were testing me to see just how serious I was – just like the citizens in the United States have done about my race for the White House.
“I had to win them over – I had to convince them that I meant business and that I had their best interest in mind.
“People laughed when they saw what I had planned for these spectacular 1,400 acres and wasted no time in telling me I’d never ever get approvals to go ahead.
“For those who know me, this was a challenge I welcomed.
“But it reminds me of the response I had when I announced my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.
But – Trump said – after his work on plans:“Any mistrust was replaced by confidence in my ability as well as my dedication.
He went on:“When I make an analogy of my work in Scotland to my pursuits in the United States, there are several parallels that are very clear to me
“Passion. Giving Back. Dedication. Results.”
“In Scotland, we worked together for the best results possible. The results have been spectacular. The course has been touted as the greatest links course in the world.”
“Well, Scotland has already been won – and so will the United States.”
Speaking about his campaign for the presidency, the motormouth candidate added: “I know I can produce results, I know I can make a difference.
“I know it won’t be easy, but Scotland wasn’t easy either.
“There’s a stubborn streak in me that I inherited, and I am grateful for that. That’s what produces winners. As Scots, I think you will have to agree with me.”
Trump has a somewhat troubled relationship with his ancestral homeland.
At the end of last year he was stripped of his honorary degree from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen after saying there should be a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US.
And former First Minister Alex Salmond had also had an ongoing spat with Trump.
The pair have been engaged in a war of words for some months now – with Salmond recently branding Trump “offensive”, “absurd” and “dangerous”.
In the past Trump has called Salmond an “embarrassment to Scotland”.