Trump Letters To Salmond Revealed
21 December 2016, 15:15 | Updated: 21 December 2016, 15:17
Donald Trump portrayed himself as the saviour of Scotland during an intense lobbying campaign against plans for an offshore wind project near his golf resort.
The US president-elect sent a series of letters to then first minister Alex Salmond, warning about the impact the "monstrous'' turbines would have, and told the former SNP leader the "insanity'' of the project would bankrupt Scotland.
He told Mr Salmond he would be known as "Mad Alex - the man who destroyed Scotland'' if he went ahead with the plan.
Mr Trump said the "craziness'' would also damage Mr Salmond's hopes for Scottish independence.
In a series of colourfully-written letters Mr Trump voiced his concerns to the Scottish government about the development, complaining it would spoil the view from his golf resort at the Menie estate on the Aberdeenshire coast.
On September 14 2011 he told Mr Salmond: "Its adverse visual impact on my development and the beautiful Aberdeen coastline will be disastrous and environmentally irresponsible.''
Less than a fortnight later he sent a one-sentence missive to the then first minister asking why Swedish energy firm Vattenfall was being allowed to "ruin'' the Scottish coastline, adding: "Let them ruin the coastline of Sweden first.''
On February 9 2012, Mr Trump told Mr Salmond: "With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history.''
He added that he would never support "this insanity'' and said he was motivated by his family ties to Scotland.
"Please understand that I am doing this to save Scotland and honour my mother, Mary MacLeod who, as you know, was born and raised in Stornoway.
"She would not believe what you are doing to her beloved Scotland!''
The correspondence, released following a Freedom of Information Act request by the Huffington Post UK, showed Mr Trump becoming increasingly frustrated by the plan.
On March 12 2012 he told Mr Salmond: "Do you want to be known for centuries to come as 'Mad Alex - the man who destroyed Scotland'?''
He added: "If you pursue this craziness Scotland will go broke and forever lose whatever chance you currently have of making Scotland independent.''
The following month he warned about the economic damage that reliance on wind power would do.
Writing on April 19 2012 he said: "Your economy will become a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.''
In two separate messages on May 2 2012, Mr Trump gave an insight into what he believes makes a great leader - and said the wind turbine plans were a "mad march into oblivion''.
In one letter Mr Trump said: "History has proven conclusively that the world's greatest leaders have always been those who have been able to change their minds for the good.''
In the other he told Mr Salmond: "Your idea of independence is 'Gone With the Wind'.''
The correspondence reveals that Mr Trump also lobbied UK ministers, with one letter to then defence secretary Philip Hammond praising the Ministry of Defence's concerns about the project.
In the August 16 2012 letter he told the Cabinet minister: "The defence of the UK is far too important to tinker with just to satisfy Alex Salmond's bloated ego.''
The papers released include one reply from Mr Salmond to Mr Trump, in which he told the tycoon that the renewable energy industry would help create job opportunities in Scotland.
In the April 12 2012 response Mr Salmond said: "We are determined to be on the right side of this debate, to deliver a future for the next generation, and a prosperous one at that.''
The former first minister reflected on his dealings with Mr Trump in July this year, saying: "Most American presidents don't send you 'green ink' letters, often capital letters. Usually couriered overnight with press articles attached to them, 'READ THIS!' Underlined, three times.''
Vattenfall is now going ahead with the £300 million construction of Scotland's largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility after Mr Trump's efforts - including a Supreme Court challenge - failed.