Trump on Scottish golf course to wrap up contentious UK trip
US President Donald Trump wraps up a four-day visit to Britain, dominated by his blasting of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy, by spending the weekend in Scotland.
Trump is staying at Turnberry, southwest of Glasgow, one of his luxury golf resorts, in a private part of the trip before heading to Helsinki for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf my primary form of exercise! The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible!” Trump tweeted.
“The stock market hit 25,000,” he added.”Jobs are at an all time record — and that is before we fix some of the worst trade deals and conditions ever seen by any government. It is all happening!”
A major anti-Trump rally is planned in Edinburgh on Saturday after a mass protest in London on Friday that organisers said drew more than 250,000 people.
A blimp depicting Trump as a baby was flown in London and will be on display Edinburgh during the protests in the Scottish capital.
A pro-Trump demonstration is due to be held in London by alt-right campaigners, as well as a counter, anti-fascism protest.
‘She didn’t listen to me’
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a fierce critic of Trump, has refused to meet him and he was instead met at Glasgow airport on Friday by the British government’s Scotland minister.
In an extraordinary interview with Friday’s edition of The Sun tabloid, Britain’s most widely-read newspaper, Trump said May’s plan for post-Brexit ties with the EU would “probably kill” prospects for a UK-US trade deal.
He also said Boris Johnson, who resigned as foreign minister over the plan earlier this week and is a potential challenger to May, would make “a great prime minister”.
Trump said he had advised May to take a different strategy on Brexit, telling the tabloid: “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me”.
The unprecedented criticism comes at a particularly sensitive time for May, who is facing a rebellion by Brexit hardliners against her proposals to retain strong trading ties with the EU even after Britain leaves the bloc.
After meeting May at the prime minister’s Chequers country retreat outside London on Friday, Trump sounded more conciliatory, saying that bilateral relations “have never been stronger”.
“Whatever you do is okay with us, just make sure we can trade together, that’s all that matters,” he told May.
“The United States looks forward to finalising a great bilateral trade deal,” he said, and repeatedly praised May’s leadership, saying she was a “terrific woman”.
He then met Queen Elizabeth II for tea at Windsor Castle.
Trump is staying at the Turnberry golf resort — the same course he inaugurated on June 24, 2016, a day after the referendum in which Britain voted to leave the EU.
Dozens of police officers were seen standing guard Saturday outside the luxury estate in southwest Scotland.
Discord over his other golf course in Scotland dating back over a decade means there is little love lost between Trump and the pro-independence Scottish government.
In 2006, the real estate tycoon bought 1,400 acres (567 hectares) of land near Aberdeen on Scotland’s east coast and promised to build “the world’s best golf course”.
Trump’s promise to create 6,000 jobs and invest £1 billion failed to materialise, and Trump began interfering with plans to make Scotland a renewable energy powerhouse.
The Trump Organisation has spent around £100 million on the course, known as Trump International Golf Links, and employed around 650 temporary and permanent staff — but the company insists the resort remains a work in progress.
A handful of protesters stood outside the entrance to the Aberdeenshire course on Saturday. One woman in a trade union bib held a placard reading: “Mr Trump, you are not welcome.”