‘TRUMP’S SHALLOW CRITICS’
SON LEAPS TO DONALD’S DEFENCE
US President Donald Trump has arrived in London for the start of his visit to the UK – while his son Eric touched down at Aberdeen Airport to play at his golf course at Menie. Protests are planned the length of the UK, but Eric Trump has hit out at ‘shallow’ critics of his father and the course.
Donald Trump has arrived in Britain for talks with Theresa May just hours after attacking the prime minister’s Brexit plan and highlighting Cabinet divisions while in Brussels.
The US president landed in Air Force One at Stansted Airport in Essex at lunchtime on Thursday at the start of a four-day UK visit expected to see protesters take to the streets in large numbers.
But the political controversy was ignited even before he and First Lady Melania had touched down in Britain with their huge entourage.
The president used a press conference in Brussels to described the UK as a “hot spot right now with a lot of resignations” and dismissed the prime minister’s Chequers plan on the next stage of Brexit.
“I would say Brexit is Brexit,” he told reporters following a bruising Nato summit.
“The people voted to break it up so I would imagine that’s what they would do, but maybe they’re taking a different route, I don’t know if that is what they voted for.”
He added that it seemed as if the UK was “getting at least partially involved back with the European Union”.
“I’d like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly,” he said.
It comes just days after Mr Trump declined to say whether Mrs May should remain in post, said he had “always liked” Boris Johnson, who quit as foreign secretary over the Chequers agreement, and described the UK as being in “turmoil”.
The president’s arrival in the UK was delayed for almost an hour after he caused a political and diplomatic firestorm at the Nato summit in Brussels when he threatened to pull the US out of the alliance unless other nations stumped up extra cash.
He backed down over the threats when other leaders agreed to increase defence spending “like they never have before” and described himself as a “very stable genius” over the deal.
The US leader gave a brief wave to the crowd before descending the steps from Air Force One holding the hand of the First Lady, to be met by dignitaries led by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.
The couple spent a few moments greeting the welcoming committee before stepping into the Marine One helicopter to be taken to London.
The first couple were greeted by music by The Beatles when they arrived at Winfield House, the official residence of the US ambassador in Regent’s Park, on Marine One.
Mrs May will host Mr Trump and his wife Melania at a lavish dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, on Thursday evening.
The president is expected to avoid areas where major demonstrations are planned in protest at his visit.
After spending the night at Winfield House Mr Trump will then join the prime minister at a military base on Friday to observe a joint counter-terrorism exercise involving special forces from the UK and US.
They will subsequently hold talks at the prime minister’s country residence Chequers on Friday where Russia, Brexit and the Middle East will be at the top of the agenda.
Mr Trump will then travel to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen before heading to Scotland for a private part of the four-day visit, ahead of travelling to Helsinki for a much-anticipated summit with the Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Mr Trump’s son Eric has arrived in Scotland for a golfing visit to Trump International Golf Links at Menie, Aberdeenshire, and Trump Turnberry, near Girvan, South Ayrshire.
He said that the UK is a “big part” of the president’s life, saying: “He has worked here for so many years, and he knows so many people.
“His mother, my grandmother, is from Scotland.
“We just love this country, we love the UK in general and it’s a big part of our lives.
“It’s a big part of his life, prepolitics, and that can only be a positive.”
“I’d like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly”
Donald Trump’s son and business successor jetted into the north-east yesterday – and slammed “shallow” critics including the first minister.
Eric Trump played a round at the Menie estate links before answering questions from journalists.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will not meet the president on his visit to the UK and has previously described statements made by him as “deeply abhorrent”.
The visit will also be met by protests across the UK, including outside the Menie estate, which have been backed by a number of senior politicians.
Mr Trump said that the outrage at his father’s visit had been “hyped up” by the media and when asked specifically about the response from Scotland he said: “There is always a big disconnect between citizens and politicians.
“We have seen that in our own country often enough, but I guess we have thick skin.
“If you look at the people in Aberdeen and Turnberry they love what we have done to the two sites we have and the hundreds of millions we have invested in the country.
“It’s something that should be celebrated and not criticised. I think it takes a pretty shallow person to criticise it and many of these people are shallow.
“They will come and go and we won’t and we will still be here investing in these properties for generations to come.”
He branded the Aberdeen bay wind farm that his father had fought so hard to stop “irrelevant”, but added that he was sceptical that it would still be standing in a decade.
He said: “I think it was a foolish location, but at the end of the day I think it is irrelevant and it doesn’t make any difference to this course. “We will see how long they last.” His visit came as watchdog Scottish Natural Heritage found the Trump International Links has “partially destroyed” the specially protected site it was built on.
But Mr Trump said that the investment had done “wonders for the area” and that his Scottish grandmother would be “smiling down” from heaven in pride at the work in her native land.
And Mr Trump said that he was confident that UK/US relations would be strengthened by the presidential visit.
He said: “It’s a great thing for international relations and if you look at the UK and you look at Scotland and the US – what two allies, anywhere in the world at any time in history have been more powerful allies than us?
“I think having a president with those roots, that has spent so much time in those places, is a beautiful thing.”
Mr Trump said he would meet his father at the Turnberry course in the coming days and added it was “still to be decided” whether he would make a visit to his Aberdeenshire golf course.
When asked if there would be more visits in the future he responded: “There is no question about it.”
Mr Trump jun’s private emblazoned with the Trump logo, left Aberdeen Airport at 4.15pm.
A Scottish Government spokesman said of the visit: “President Trump is coming to the UK at the invitation of the UK Government and the Secretary of State for Scotland will greet him on arrival.
“We understand the president’s time in Scotland is planned as a personal private visit between other engagements, with no official meetings.
“Scotland has deep and longstanding ties of family, friendship and business with the United States, which will continue to endure.
“At the same time, we will not compromise our fundamental values of equality, diversity, and human rights and we expect these values to be made clear during the presidential visit to the UK. We would encourage those attending any protests to do so peacefully and safely.”
“I think having a president with those roots, that has spent so much time in those places, is beautiful”
FLAGS FLYING: Eric Trump played a round yesterday at Trump International