Eric Trump called the Scottish official pushing for an investigation into the family's golf clubs a "national embarrassment"

By Sean Neumann
February 03, 2021 01:20 PM
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Donald Trump (C) walks as he plays a round of golf on the Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry, the luxury golf resort of US President Donald Trump, in Turnberry, southwest of Glasgow, Scotland on July 14, 2018
Donald Trump
| Credit: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty

A Scottish official is seeking an investigation into what he contends are Donald Trump's "unexplained wealth" and "shadowy dealings" around his two local golf courses — while the former president's son Eric Trump is slamming the push as a "pathetic" political move.

"The Scottish Government has tried to avoid the question of investigating Donald Trump's wealth for far too long," Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Parliament member seeking the investigation, told The Scotsman. "There are serious concerns about how he financed the cash purchases of his Scottish golf courses, but no investigation has ever taken place."

Harvie's call will lead to a vote later Wednesday on whether the country's Parliament will pursue an "unexplained wealth order" from Trump's two Scottish clubs: Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire and the Turnberry Golf Club in Ayrshire.

If the order is granted, Trump's business would be compelled to explain how it came up with the money to buy the two clubs. If the Trump Organization did not comply with the order, according to The Guardian, the government could ultimately seize the properties.

A representative for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment Wednesday. But Eric, who has been helping run the family business since his father became president, blasted Harvie's push for an investigation in a statement to The Guardian and other British news outlets.

"Patrick Harvie is nothing more than a national embarrassment with his pathetic antics that only serve himself and his political agenda," Eric said, according to The Guardian. "If Harvie and the rest of the Scottish government continue to treat overseas investors like this, it will deter future investors from conducting business in Scotland, ultimately crushing their economy, tourism and hospitality industries."

Donald Trump visits Turnberry Golf Club
Donald Trump visits Turnberry Golf Club
| Credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty
Donald Trump Visits Turnberry Golf Club
Donald Trump visits Turnberry Golf Club
| Credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty

Harvie told CBS News on Wednesday that Scotland's tourism is a vital resource for the country and he doesn't want to see it tarnished "from association with the toxic Trump brand."

"Our tourism offer is important," he told CBS. "It's an important part of Scotland's economy and our society, and it should not be tarnished by association with this white supremacist, extremist, dangerous liar and bully."

Trump, 74, bought the Turnberry property in 2014, along with its accompanying seaside hotel, for $63 million, The New York Times previously reported.

In the years after, a Trump legal entity lent more than $141 million to the club, which has yet to turn a profit under his ownership, according to the Times. The newspaper also reported that, in 2016, longtime Trump lender Deutsche Bank had denied his loan request in order to do more work on the Turnberry club.

CBS News reported financial disclosures suggest Trump's two clubs are currently more than $205 million in debt, according to 2020 filings, though representatives for organization dispute those numbers.

Harvie is pushing the Scottish government to find a clear answer.

"The government must seek an unexplained wealth order to shine a light on Trump's shadowy dealings," he told The Scotsman on Sunday.

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Wednesday's vote wouldn't necessarily force an unexplained wealth order, according to the Scottish newspaper, but it would more so increase pressure on the country's leaders to launch a formal investigation.

Trump is no stranger to criticism in Scotland, including from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

He reportedly mulled flying to his Turnberry club in lieu of attending President Joe Biden's inauguration. But Sturgeon shot down those plans, calling his planned trip unnecessary amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Then days after the deadly Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol, golf's international governing body, the R&A, announced it would no longer schedule the famous British Open at Turnberry "for the foreseeable future."