Scotland politics

Donald Trump 'would love to return to Scotland'

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump is in Davos for the World Economic Forum annual meeting

Donald Trump has spoken of his regret at not being able to visit Scotland since he became US president.

Mr Trump described the country as a "very special place" with "very special people".

He also insisted he was unaware that many people had called for him to be banned from the UK.

And he said he was prepared to apologise for retweeting posts from far-right group Britain First.

Mr Trump was speaking to Piers Morgan in an interview to be broadcast in full on ITV1 at 22:00 on 28 January.

The interview was held at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Mr Trump met Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday.

Mr Trump told Morgan he did not care what his critics said about him, adding: "I hadn't heard about banning, I think a lot of the people in your country like what I stand for, they respect what I stand for and I do stand for tough borders."

The president also said he did not want to "cause any difficulty for your country", adding: "The real me is somebody that loves Britain, loves the UK".

He continued: "I love Scotland. One of the biggest problems I have in winning, I won't be able to get back there so often. I would love to go there.

"As you know, before this happened, I would be there a lot. Very special people and a very special place."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Trump was once a regular visitor to his Scottish golf courses - but has not been back since being elected president

Mr Trump recently cancelled a planned trip to the UK, where he had been due to open a new $1bn (£740m) US embassy in London.

But he is expected to visit the country later this year, despite the risk of widespread protests and calls for the president to be banned from entering the country.

The trip is unlikely to be the full state occasion which had originally been offered by Mrs May, but will instead be a lower-key working visit.

There has been speculation that the trip could include Scotland - but the country's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has been among those who have argued it would be "unthinkable" for Mr Trump to be honoured with a state visit.

Mr Trump last travelled to the UK in June 2016 during the presidential campaign, making stops at his golf resorts at Turnberry in Ayrshire and Menie in Aberdeenshire.

'Horrible racist people'

Mr Trump also claimed to have known nothing about Britain First when he shared three videos posted by the group with his 40 million Twitter followers in November.

He told Morgan: "Here's what's fair - if you're telling me they're horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologise if you'd like me to do that."

Mr Trump's mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, was born and brought up on the Hebridean island of Lewis before emigrating to New York.

But Ms Sturgeon dropped Mr Trump as a business ambassador for Scotland when he first proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States during his election campaign.

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