Scotland’s Leader Says Trump Can’t Come Play Golf at His Turnberry Resort
Reports suggested Trump might visit Scotland instead of attending Joe Biden's inauguration
While reports suggest that President Donald Trump might skip President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration in favor of a golfing trip to his own club in Scotland, the country's leader says he isn't welcome there due to the country's coronavirus travel ban.
Scotland's Sunday Post reported that Glasgow's Prestwick Airport — located near Trump's flagship Turnberry Resort — "has been told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 aircraft, that is occasionally used by Trump, on January 19."
Biden's inauguration is set for Jan. 20, and Trump has not indicated that he plans to attend the ceremony, as is customary for outgoing presidents.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon responded to the report that Trump would visit Scotland in a press conference on Tuesday, saying she had "no idea" what the American president's travel plans entailed.
"I have no idea what Donald Trump's travel plans are," Sturgeon said, during a daily coronavirus news briefing. "You'll be glad to know I hope and expect that ... the travel plan immediately that he has is to exit the White House. But beyond that, I don't know."
Sturgeon continued: "We are not allowing people to come into Scotland without an essential purpose right now and that would apply to him just as it applies to anybody else. Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."
As The New York Times reported, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany disputed the report that Trump planned to visit Scotland later this month.
"This is not accurate," McEnany said, when asked about the report. "President Trump has no plans to travel to Scotland."
Trump's Scottish golf courses recently reported significant financial losses for the year 2019, and will likely report even worse numbers for 2020 due to the pandemic, which led to the enforced closure of both resorts.
According to the Huffington Post, the Scottish courses have seen losses amount to $75 million over the past eight years.
Trump's attempts to draw business to Turnberry was mired in controversy last June, after it was revealed that the president had sought the help of America's ambassador to Britain to see if the British government would steer the world-famous and lucrative British Open golf tournament there.
Government ethics experts have said those attempts are potential violation of the emoluments clause, and could be viewed as an unethical use of the presidency for private gain.
The president's son, Eric Trump, serves as director of the Trump Scottish golf courses.