Trump Organisation accuses Scottish politicians of pursuing 'personal agenda'

The Trump Organisation has accused politicians in Scotland of pursuing “personal agendas” ahead of a parliamentary vote on whether ministers should launch a probe into Donald Trump’s finances.

Eric Trump at the opening of Trump Turnberry's new golf course in June 2017. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

In a sternly worded statement on the eve of the debate in the Scottish Parliament, the former US president’s firm dismissed the MSP spearheading the calls for the Scottish Government to pursue an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) as a “national embarrassment.”

The statement, issued by Eric Trump, executive vice president of his father’s company, accused elected representatives of investigating Mr Trump’s companies at the expense of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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It also claimed that by purchasing the world-famous Turnberry resort - a deal that will be the focus of tomorrow’s debate - the Trump Organisation had rescued a “national treasure on the brink of collapse.”

The Holyrood debate, which has been brought by Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens, will hear arguments for ministers to apply to the Court of Session and act on growing concerns over how Mr Trump’s holdings in Scotland were acquired.

The Scottish Government would not be legally bound to seek a UWO in the event of any vote, but a majority call for it do so would substantially increase pressure on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to act.

Questions surrounding Mr Trump’s £35.7 million acquisition of Turnberry - a four-time host of golf’s Open championship - predate his political career.

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It was among a series of cash deals struck by the 74-year-old throughout a decade-long spending spree, which included the purchase of land near Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, for his inaugural Scottish resort.

Since incorporating his first company in Scotland 16 years ago, none of Mr Trump’s companies have turned a profit. Publicly available accounts show they have run up losses of £55m and owe around £157m to US-based limited liability companies and trusts in Mr Trump’s name.

Mr Harvie has said tomorrow’s debate ought to spur the Scottish Government into investigating Mr Trump’s “shadow dealings,” given the “serious and evidenced concerns” around his purchase of Turnberry.

But in the statement, Eric Trump hit back: “At a critical time when politicians should be focused on saving lives and reopening businesses in Scotland, they are focused on advancing their personal agendas.

“Patrick Harvie is nothing more than a national embarrassment with his pathetic antics that only serve himself and his political agenda.

“If Harvie and the rest of the Scottish Government continue to treat overseas investors like this, it will deter future investors from conducting business in Scotland, ultimately crushing their economy, tourism and hospitality industries.”

The Trump Organisation statement also emphasised that it has “invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the Scottish economy” and “created thousands of jobs” at both Aberdeenshire and Turnberry, while rebuilding the latter into “one of the finest resorts anywhere in the world.”

Companies House records for the respective corporate entities of both resorts show neither has paid a penny in UK corporation tax, and together, employ 625 staff.

The statement, which does not directly address any allegations surrounding the Trump Organisation’s financing in Scotland, adds that both the firm’s golf courses “have been recognised for their iconism with countless accolades.”

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