LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hit out at former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond on Thursday, calling him “an embarrassment” as he defended his ownership of a prestigious Scottish golf course.
The attack is the latest in a feud between the pair, stemming from Trump’s objection in 2013 to a Scottish government-approved offshore wind farm project near one of his golf courses.
Trump has found himself under scrutiny from British politicians more generally after they voted last week to debate a call to ban him from the UK due to public outcry over his proposal to stop Muslims entering the United States.
Calling Salmond a “stupid man”, Trump accused him of destroying landscapes by supporting wind farm projects and said he “disgracefully” released from prison a Libyan convicted of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988.
“Alex Salmond is an embarrassment to Scotland,” he said.
Trump’s statement was issued as a response to Salmond, who had said on Wednesday on a radio programme that it would be better for Scotland if the billionaire developer and former reality TV star were not the owner of the Turnberry golf course in the south west of the country.
Salmond, a campaigner for Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom, also said he would support Britain’s interior minister Theresa May if she did issue Trump with a travel ban, ending his comments by suggesting that Trump wore a toupee.
In a previous row, Trump had called Salmond a “has-been and totally irrelevant”.
Half-Scottish Trump, who speaks proudly of his Gaelic heritage, defended his ownership of Turnberry, one of the two golf resorts he owns in Scotland, saying he was spending 200 million pounds ($290 million)on a revamp.
Should Britain ban him from entering, Trump has threatened to cancel 700 million pounds of planned investments in Scotland.
“His response to any suggested ban has not changed,” a spokeswoman for Trump said on Thursday.
Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison