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3 July 2014, 06:20
US tycoon Donald Trump believes it would be "inappropriate'' to take a position on the independence referendum but revealed he still likes and respects Alex Salmond despite their row over offshore wind turbines.
Trump now owns two golf courses in Scotland, adding the recently purchased Turnberry resort in Ayrshire to the course he built in a controversial project in Aberdeenshire.
The Scottish Government supported the construction despite objections from environmentalists but Mr Trump halted work on a planned hotel, housing and a second course on the site when plans for an offshore windfarm close to the links course emerged.
Plans for the second golf course in Aberdeenshire remain on hold but when asked about his relationship with the First Minister at a press conference in Turnberry today to discuss his purchase of the famous Open Championship course, Mr Trump said: "I disagree with him on one element, I've had moments in life when I've been very friendly with him and I do respect him but I disagree with him on wind.
"I think there are other great forms of energy but wind is becoming obsolete. I disagreed with him on that, other than that, I like him.
"I told that to someone the other day, I actually like Alex Salmond but I have to fight him. I've created a masterpiece and I don't want to see it hurt by a very, very foolish technology that's obsolete.''
Mr Trump was also asked about his views on the independence referendum and said he was relaxed about his investments in Scotland. "I am (relaxed), the problem is you just don't know what's going to happen.
"It's nice to be rich. It would perhaps be a bad thing for Turnberry and maybe it wouldn't, I really don't know. The fact is it's very questionable, a lot of people are very concerned about it, but that will have no impact on me going forward.
"Maybe I'm making a mistake, maybe if you ask me that question in two years I might say 'I made a mistake, I shouldn't have invested in Scotland', that's possible but it will not have an impact on what I do.
"Windmills will have an impact on me spending a lot of money because I think they're very negative for the economy and tourism and everything else but independence will not have any impact on what I do.''
Mr Trump said his mother was originally from Scotland and often returned after moving to the US.
"My mother loved Scotland and would travel here religiously every single year,'' he said.
"I'm not involved in the independence movement, I hear bad things about it from people who are very smart, I hear things that would not be good for Scotland but I don't take a position on it, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to take a position on it.
"I hear that if it goes through taxes will go up. From a business stand point, I have a lot of very big business friends in Scotland who are extremely friendly with Alex Salmond and, like me on wind, they're fighting him on this because they don't know where all the subsidy - you get a lot of subsidy in Scotland - and where is all that subsidy going to come from if you don't have the source?
"So a lot of people think it's very negative for Scotland. I don't have a view.''