Donald Trump hands control of Scottish businesses to sons

Donald presser Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump stood next to a stack of paperwork from his various businesses during his media conference

Donald Trump is handing over his Scottish businesses to his sons as he prepares to take office as President.

The US president-elect owns golf courses in Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire.

During a media conference ahead of Mr Trump's inauguration on 20 January, his tax lawyer said management of the Trump organisation would pass to Mr Trump's sons Eric and Donald Jr.

She also said the businessman would make "no new foreign deals whatsoever" during his presidency.

Mr Trump, whose mother was born on Lewis, visited his golf courses at Menie and Turnberry in June 2016, his first trip abroad as the Republican candidate for the presidency.

He has pledged to invest £200m in Turnberry, which he bought in 2014 but which made a loss of almost £8.4m last year. The Aberdeenshire course - owned by Trump International Golf Club Scotland - lost just under £1.1m in 2015.

Trump International has been involved in a series of planning and legal disputes over the golf courses, as well as offshore wind developments in the North Sea. The businessman sent a series of often colourful letters to then-first minister Alex Salmond on the subject of wind power.

As recently as November, in the days after Mr Trump won the presidency, the group won out in a planning wrangle over a flagpole at the Aberdeenshire course.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Donald Trump visited his Scottish golf courses during his presidential campaign

During a media conference in New York, Mr Trump said he would hand total control over his businesses to his sons.

His tax lawyer Sheri Dillon told journalists: "President elect Trump's investment and business assets, commonly known as the Trump organisation, comprising hundreds of entities - which again if you all take a look at his financial disclosure statement - the pages and pages of entities have all been or will be conveyed to a trust prior to January 20."

She said Mr Trump had relinquished leadership and management of the Trump organisation to his sons and a long-time Trump executive.

Ms Dillon said: "The trust is going to hold his (Trump) pre-existing, illiquid but very valuable assets - the ones that everyone is familiar with, Trump-owned operated and branded golf clubs, commercial rented property, resorts and hotels."

She went on to explain that there would be "severe restriction" on new deals with "no new foreign deals being made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump's presidency".

Ms Dillon added that an ethics adviser would be appointed to the management board of the trust to oversee any potential conflicts of interest.

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