DONALD Trump yesterday flew into Scotland to fine tune his plans for the "world's greatest golf course" and immediately launched a vitriolic attack against the "village idiot" who has sold some of his land in a bid to block the development.
• Donald Trump in Aberdeen yesterday. Picture: PA
The tycoon at first attempted to brush aside the potential impact of the decision of Menie estate resident Michael Forbes to sell a plot of his land to Tripping Up Trump, the group formed to oppose the massive golf resort on the Aberdeenshire coast.
The action, he insisted, was too little and too late.
But, at a packed press conference on the edge of Aberdeen airport, the star of American TV's The Apprentice then went on the offensive, branding Mr Forbes' family home at the Mill of Menie as a "slum and a pigsty".
He even questioned the Scottish roots of the kilt-wearing salmon fisherman and smallholder and accused the man he once branded a "village idiot" of twice reneging on a deal to sell his land to the Trump Organisation.
And Mr Trump claimed: "He just wants much more money than the property's worth."
Mr Trump had earlier flown in on board his private Boeing 737 jet in the company of his son, Donald Trump jnr, who is heading up the team for the Menie estate development.
He was greeted by Aberdeen's Lord Provost Peter Stephen as a black and gold trimmed golf bag was taken from the baggage compartment of the jet and loaded into a waiting Land Rover.
As he strode into the news conference, casting off his cashmere coat, a tanned Mr Trump spoke of his aim of creating a "masterpiece" as his legacy to the world of golf.
And he announced that the Menie dunes – the mobile sand dune system at a heart of the controversial development – would be renamed the "Great Sand Dunes of Scotland" as a tribute to his later mother Mary Macleod, who was born in Lewis.
But he soon got sidetracked under a barrage of questions about the revelations that Mr Forbes, one of the homeowners facing the threat of a compulsory purchase order (CPO), had sold an acre of his land, now dubbed "the Bunker," to the Tripping Up Trump protesters.
Mr Trump said: "It's a little late to trip me up because we're under construction."
The businessman insisted that the ownership of Mr Forbes' property would have no impact whatever on the plans to build the two championship golf courses, the major housing component of the development or the exclusive golf villas.
But it would be a blight on proposals for the five-star hotel, expected to be built at cost of up to 280 million.
"We want to build a great hotel," Mr Trump said. "He (Forbes] doesn't maintain his property. It's a slum. It's horrible the way he maintains it.
"I don't know if he's doing that on purpose. I think that's just the way he maintains his property. So it's a very sad situation. You have rusted oil tanks all over it. You have tractors that are rotting and rusting into this beautiful sand. You have oil tanks that are leaking into the sand. I think somebody should do something about it."
Warming to his theme, the tycoon continued: "He does have an impact on the hotel because if we build a $300m or $400m hotel, I don't think you want the windows looking down into a slum. I don't think anybody wants to build where your view is obliterated by a slum.
"I would love to see him clean up his property. His property is a pigsty. It's terrible – his barn is all rotted and rusted and falling down. I mean, it's terrible."
He then went on to question Mr Forbes' Scottish ancestry. "My mother was born in Stornoway and she was so meticulous and if I dropped a little piece of paper on the floor as a baby she said: 'pick up that paper'. She was the most clean woman I've ever seen. She was immaculate. The people of Scotland are that way.
"This place is a pigsty. I don't know where he comes from. Maybe his heritage is from somewhere other than Scotland."
And in a claim hotly disputed by Mr Forbes, Trump said: "Forbes made a deal twice with us to sell but then he broke the deal. This man's not married to the land, but he's enjoying the press."
Mr Trump yesterday walked all 18 holes of the main championship course at the Menie estate.
During his wide-ranging press conference, an ebullient Mr Trump waxed lyrical about everything from the state of the euro to his golf handicap.
He also revealed that he had already spent 40m on the project "out of my back pocket". But he also disclosed that the overall scheme, once priced at 1bn, was now expected to cost "well over 750m".
"We are in a very strong cash position. Most people wouldn't be building this project right now because the economy is tanking, the euro is down the tubes, and obviously the pound has been very severely impacted," Mr Trump said.
"The good thing is the dollar, by luck, is going up.
"This will be a masterpiece when it's completed – I think everybody in this room, but perhaps more importantly all of the people in Aberdeen and all of the people in Scotland, will say thank you."
Tripping Up Trump, however, says its "land grab" will prove a legal minefield should Aberdeenshire Council press ahead with the compulsory purchase orders.
And the group's action was praised by the Scottish Green Party and Martin Ford, the Aberdeenshire councillor who has been a long- standing opponent of the scheme.
Mr Ford said: "It is a very positive thing that people have come together to defend the basic human rights of others against a bullying developer and a spineless council."
Mr Forbes last night branded Mr Trump a "liar" over the claims that he had reneged on two deals to sell his land. "He is over here to grovel to the councillors so he can go for a CPO. I hope he does. There's a long fight down the road yet."
Mr Forbes defiantly vowed to stay in his home and he said he had a simple message for the tycoon: "Go back to hell where you come from."