Donald Trump spent years attempting to persuade the Scottish Government to halt plans to build wind farms off the coast of the north of the country.
The technology, the business tycoon argued, would have a detrimental affect on Scotland’s landscape - and more specifically the view from his Aberdeenshire golf course, Trump International Golf Links.
Judging by a series of letters sent by Trump to the Scottish government, revealed in full following a Freedom of Information request by The Huffington Post UK, it’s no surprise the US President-elect is struggling to let go.
As The Sunday Express revealed, the Republican remains fascinated with the country of his mother’s birth and the battle against wind turbines.
Trump spent time during his infamous Trump Tower meeting with Nigel Farage urging the ex-Ukip leader to continue to rail against the renewable energy source, raising concerns about the many conflicts of interest he faces ahead of assuming office.
“Most American presidents don’t send you ‘green ink’ letters, often capital letters. Usually couriered overnight with press articles attached to them, ‘READ THIS!’ Underlined, three times.
Here are 16 of the most intriguing letters - which damn ‘Mad Alex’ and hail his golf course as the “greatest in the world” - and reveal the billionaire moving from politeness to personal attacks in up to two letters in a day.
1. “Would you put a wind farm opposite St Andrews ... I don’t think so”
September 14, 2011: Trump claims to have “repeatedly” (underlined) been assured the wind farm, developed by Swedish energy firm Vattenfall, would not go ahead and warns of an “ugly cloud hanging over the great Scottish coastline”.
2. “Let them ruin the coastline of Sweden first”
September 26, 2011: A short blast aimed at the wind farm developer. “With best wishes” underlined.
3. “Hopefully, Aberdeen’s magnificent coastlines will not be destroyed by these monsters”
October 12, 2011: Some reading material in the form of “bad articles”. “Monsters” underlined.
4. “These countries, who benefit from your billions of pounds in payments, are laughing at you!”
February 9, 2012: A longer peroration on the state subsidies propping up failing industries to the benefit of China morphs into an attack on Salmond being “hellbent” on damaging Scotland’s coastline. He says his motives are to “save Scotland” and “honour my mother”.
5. “I never received the rendering”
March 12, 2012: Trump angered he is yet to see artist impressions of the turbines.
6. “Do you want to be known as ‘Mad Alex - the man who destroyed Scotland’?”
March 12, 2012: The first personal attack on Scotland’s First Minister. Warns Scotland will “go broke” and undermine “whatever chance” of independence.
7. “For the record, I have not funded a political campaign in Scotland.”
March 29, 2012: “Saddened” Salmond calls for an investigation into Trump,
8. “Your economy will become a third world wasteland that investors will avoid”
April 19, 2012: “Wind power does not work,” Trump muses.
9. “I will be your greatest cheerleader if you can change or modify your stance”
May 2, 2012: Trump attempts to persuade Salmond there is as way out.
10. “Your idea of independence is ‘Gone With The Wind’”
May 2, 2012: Yet on the same day he takes a sharper tone, warning of a “mad march into oblivion” - and concludes with an independence jibe.
11. “I have read recently about the concept of tax breaks for golfing and other sports stars. It is a great idea”
July 17, 2012: A tax proposal amid a modest claim about the “great fanfare and rave reviews” fuelled by the golf course’s opening.
12. “Germany has cut back on windmills ... why not sell them to Scotland if Scotland is stupid enough to buy them”
August 7, 2012: A suggestion to Make Scotland A Bit Better.
13. “These monstrous turbines are extremely unpopular in Scotland and the rest of the world - there is a great uprising against them”
August 16, 2012: This letter was sent to then UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, arguing the purpose of the offshore wind farm is to “satisfy Alex Salmond’s bloated ego”.
14. “Spoiling Scotland’s spectacular landscape with ugly turbines will cause the tourism sector to collapse”
November 12, 2012: A stark warning about the domino effect of 11 turbines built off the Aberdeenshire coast to a country that attracts millions of visitors a year.
15. “Do not be the man who destroyed Scotland - do not be ‘Mad Alex’”
March 13, 2013: Returns to the ‘Mad Alex’ refrain. “OBSOLETE” in full ‘caps lock’ mode.
16. “The highly respected Robb Report has just voted it ‘the best golf course in the world’”
June 5, 2013: A sharp toot on the trumpet for the links course.
And the Salmond response ...
Despite the numerous letters, the First Minister responded just once (according to the documents made available to HuffPost UK), defending Scotland’s promise as a renewable energy world leader, and making clear it is for local authorities to determine whether the development gets the go-ahead.
“I don’t expect you to support the development of offshore wind in Scotland,” he writes. “But I hope this letter will help you to understand the position of the Scottish government in terms of the importance we place on this industry’s great potential.”